Former Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Milton Bradley, who had a volatile history on and off the field with several teams, was charged Friday with threatening and attacking his wife, including raising a knife and warning, "You'll be dead, bitch, before you divorce me."
The charges against Bradley, a former Redondo Beach and Long Beach resident who now lives in Encino, stem from four alleged domestic violence incidents in 2012 and another in 2011. During each incident, Bradley allegedly physically assaulted and threatened his wife, Monique, including in August 2011 when he allegedly raised a baseball bat with two hands and threatened to kill her, said Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.
If convicted of all charges, he could face up to 13 years in jail.
Bradley and his wife are in the midst of a contentious divorce and child custody battle, said Bradley's attorney, Harland Braun.
Braun denied the charges against Bradley, saying the athlete told him that Monique Bradley made them up.
"This has been an ongoing bitter divorce," Braun said. "It's a pretty messy situation. Milton denies any of these charges.
The Bradleys, who have two children, are separated. Monique Bradley has a restraining order against her husband, Mateljan said.
Bradley, 34, must appear Jan. 24 in Van Nuys court for arraignment on four counts of spousal battery, four counts of making criminal threats, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon, two counts of vandalism, and one count of dissuading a witness from making a report. The counts are all misdemeanors.
According to the City Attorney's Office, Bradley allegedly pushed his wife against a kitchen wall and choked her with both hands in November after she asked him to stop smoking marijuana in front of their children and requested that his friends leave their house.
In March 2012, Bradley threatened his wife with a knife and said, "You'll be dead, bitch, before you divorce me," Mateljan said.
In August 2012, Bradley allegedly threw a cellphone at a television screen during an argument that escalated into Bradley allegedly kicking his wife in the ribs while she was on the floor, Mateljan said.
Attempts to reach Bradley on Friday were not successful. His mother, Charlena Rector, said she was not aware of the charges.
"I don't be in his business," the mother said. "He's tired of you printing up all of this stuff when you don't have facts."
Braun said Bradley is most concerned about the effect of the divorce on his children.
"I don't know how we figure this out," Braun said "We'll try to work it out."
The charges are the latest in the former Long Beach Polytechnic High School athlete's well-chronicled battle with his temper, which showed itself on the baseball field with umpires, managers and teammates.
In 2005, the Daily Breeze reported that police responded to his Redondo Beach house three times for domestic violence investigations involving Monique Bradley, who was pregnant at the time.
Monique Bradley accused her husband of slamming her hand into her face and cutting her lip, choking her against a wall with his forearm pressed against her throat, throwing a cellular telephone at a wall, and removing all the phones from the house and fleeing.
The District Attorney's Office, however, did not file charges.
Bradley, who yelled obscenities at a reporter and ordered him to leave his house at the time, later issued an apology through the Dodgers, his employer in 2004 and 2005.
"The events written about are very regrettable," Bradley said. "Any problems reported have been exaggerated but, nonetheless, my wife and I have resolved all issues."
The Dodgers traded him a short time later to the Oakland Athletics for outfielder Andre Ethier.
Shortly before the Redondo Beach domestic violence revelations, Bradley ignited a racially tinged dispute on his team, criticizing second baseman Jeff Kent as a poor team leader and a man unable to deal with black people. Bradley is black and Kent is white.
Bradley previously had troubles with the Montreal Expos and Cleveland Indians, including a beef with his manager there.
Bradley also served a three-day jail sentence for driving away from a police officer who was issuing him a ticket in Ohio, tossing a bucketful of balls onto the playing field during a tantrum, charging a fan who had thrown a bottle at him, and engaging in a heated argument with a sportswriter. The Dodgers sent him to anger management therapy.
Following his time in Oakland, Bradley played for the San Diego Padres, Texas Rangers, Chicago Cubs and Seattle Mariners. He is now a free agent.
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