On Tuesday, reports spread around of multiple arrests in the Dominican Republic as part of an operation against organized crime. Those arrests made it into the North American sports media thanks to reports that former MLB pitcher Octavio Dotel (who played for 13 MLB teams) was arrested, and those were soon followed by reports that former MLB infielder Luis Castillo (who played for the Florida Marlins, Minnesota Twins and New York Mets, and who’s seen at the top of this post) was arrested as well. However, lawyer Darren Heitner took to Twitter Tuesday afternoon to dispute the reports of Castillo being arrested:
There is no truth to the allegation that Luis Castillo has been arrested. He is with his family in the U.S. Luis & his family ask that all media outlets writing on the ‘story’ retract their false statements of fact, including reference to an Instagram account that he doesn’t own.
— Darren Heitner (@DarrenHeitner) August 20, 2019
Who exactly declared that Castillo was arrested? Here’s what a Google News search for “Luis Castillo arrested” showed Tuesday afternoon:
The Bleacher Report story retained a headline of “Ex-MLB Players Luis Castillo, Octavio Dotel Arrested on Drug Trafficking Charges” as of 7:15 p.m. Eastern, and the Yahoo Sports story still had the “Two former MLB players reportedly arrested in connection to major Dominican Republic drug ring” headline at that point, citing several tweets from journalists in the Dominican Republic that said Castillo was arrested as well. However, the Post story indicated that Castillo was still being looked for by authorities:
The two former Amazin’s standouts have also been linked to a money laundering network, according to DR attorney general Jean Rodriguez. Dotel was arrested in a sting that’s being billed as the “largest operation against organized crime” in the history of the Dominican Republic. The authorities are still searching for Castillo.
…“Eighteen other people are linked to this network, including athletes and baseball players Octavio Dotel and Luis Castillo,” Rodríguez said in a news conference.
…Castillo’s Mets legacy was tainted by a dropped popup that decided a Subway Series game in 2009. Now he has much bigger issues.
Castillo’s lawyer flatly denied the allegations against his client.
“Mr. Castillo has not been arrested or involved in any drug ring, cartel, drug trafficking, money laundering, or other criminal conspiracy,” said Wilmot, also pointing out that Castillo has not been indicted.
Congratulations to the Post on managing to reference an on-field error by Castillo in a story about organized crime and money laundering. At least they didn’t say (as of the version of their story up at 7:15 p.m. Eastern, anyway) that Castillo was arrested, something that differentiates them from not only B/R and Yahoo, but also The Daily Beast, Deadspin, The Big Lead, Sports Illustrated and more. And that’s all from the first page of Google News results. It will be interesting to see if we do wind up with any of the retractions Heitner is asking for, and it will be interesting to see what happens with this case.