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Sellers: Winter arrest was a 'misunderstanding'

Frustrated by ordeal, Dodgers infielder attempting to get charges dismissed

Sellers: Winter arrest was a 'misunderstanding' play video for Sellers: Winter arrest was a 'misunderstanding'

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Dodgers infielder Justin Sellers gave his side of the story on a winter arrest for misdemeanor reckless driving and resisting arrest on a motorcycle, calling the episode a "misunderstanding."

Sellers, 26, said he attended a police ridealong on a Thursday after an invitation from an officer friend. Two days later, he was riding his dirt bike on a trail in an open field adjacent to his West Sacramento home when a trailing patrol car flashed its red lights. Sellers continued to his house, where he was placed under arrest, then was jailed for five hours.

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"I was scared, of course," Sellers said of the arrest. "There were three other riders on the trail at the same time. I don't want to sound like I was singled out. But at the time I was pulled over, I was doing nothing wrong. It's a big misunderstanding. There weren't any pedestrians anywhere. They did me wrong.

"I didn't mean to bring negative attention to the Dodgers. They made it seem I was on a wild chase. Not once did I accelerate and speed away."

Sellers said that during the ridealong, several officers teased him about being a Dodgers player in a town of predominantly Giants fans, and he said he believed at the time that the "traffic stop" was likely a prank, based on officer joking during the ridealong.

"I saw the same [arresting] cop on the ridealong, and I went from sitting in the front of a cop car on a ridealong to two days later in back of the cop car for doing something I shouldn't be in the cop car for," he said. "They had made sure I knew that they knew I was a ballplayer and that I was in Giants country, but I never thought in a million years I'd be in trouble for something like that.

"I have the utmost respect for police officers and what they do. It's a very frustrating situation for me and my family. I didn't know exactly what I did wrong."

Sellers said he's been riding cycles since he was 6 years old. He said he would be represented by an attorney at a March court date if current efforts to have the charges dismissed fail.

Sellers made the Opening Day roster last year, but he injured his back in May making a spectacular diving catch into the stands and required season-ending back surgery in August.

With Jerry Hairston, Skip Schumaker, Nick Punto and Juan Uribe earning guaranteed money as utility players, Sellers figures as a long shot to make the Opening Day roster.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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