Rocket Roger Is Found Innocent

HOUSTON--Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens was found innocent yesterday of a misdemeanor charge stemming from an alleged barroom brawl with an off-duty officer.

Harris County-Court-at-Law Judge James Barkley ordered the jury to return a verdict of not guilty of hindering an arrest, a Class A misdemeanor, defense attorney George Tyson said.

Tyson said he and lead defense attorney Mike Ramsey had asked for the instructed verdict Wednesday night on the grounds that prosecutors had failed to prove that Clemens hindered the arrest Jan. 19 of his brother, Gary Clemens, at the Bayou Mama's Swamp Bar.

Barkley heard oral arguments on the motion before ordering the jury to acquit Clemens. The defense never presented its case.

The brothers allegedly were involved in a shouting match with another patron at the bar when an off-duty police officer working as a security guard stepped in to break up the argument.


Police claimed Roger Clemens, a three-time Cy Young winner, jumped on the officer's back and choked him as he tried to arrest Gary Clemens. But another witness testified this week that Roger Clemens put a sort of bear hug around the officer.

But in asking for the innocent verdict, the defense claimed that Gary Clemens already had been arrested before Roger Clemens ever got involved and so he could not have hindered an arrest, Tyson said. The judge apparently agreed.

Roger Clemens still faces a lesser charge of interference with a police officer, a Class B misdemeanor charge filed the morning the trial began, Tyson said. He did not know exactly what action would be taken on the lesser charge.

Gary Clemens, 39, is scheduled to go on trial for resisting arrest early next year.

The three-time Cy Young winner was found innocent of a misdemeanor charge stemming from an alleged barroom brawl with an off-duty officer in Harris County, Tex.

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