Richard J. Hill, a veteran pitcher for several Major League Baseball teams including the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Sox, and his wife were arrested outside Gillette Stadium Saturday after Caitlin A. Hill repeatedly tried to enter the stadium with an oversized bag and then refused to leave the grounds when ordered to do so by Foxborough police, police said Monday.
Richard Hill was charged with disorderly conduct and intimidating a police officer when he allegedly tried to stop police from putting his wife into a prisoner transport vehicle for a ride to the police station for booking on disorderly conduct and trespassing charges, according to police.
“She was trying to enter the stadium with an oversized bag and she had been told several times, ‘no,’ “ said Robert Bolger, chief administrator for Foxborough police. “She tried several times to go to a different gate. She was ordered to leave the property.”
When Caitlin Hill refused to leave the grounds of the stadium, she was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and trespassing, Bolger said. Officers were putting Caitlin Hill into a prisoner transport van for the trip to the Foxborough station for booking when Richard Hill intervened with police, Bolger said.
“He saw her as they were trying to get her into a van to bring to the police station, and he started to interfere with the officers,’’ Bolger said. “He was told several times to back up and he would not. And he ended up getting arrested.”
Both Hills were arraigned Monday in Wrentham District Court, but the criminal charges against the couple were changed into civil infractions by Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office. Richard Hill’s charge of intimidating a police officer, a felony, was dismissed prior to arraignment by Morrissey’s office in the "interests of justice,'' said Morrissey spokesman David Traub.
Caitlin Hill’s two charges were converted into civil infractions and she was ordered to pay a fine of $250 each and Richard Hill was fined $500 for the single count of disorderly conduct he faced, according to Traub, who said it was “not unusual” for Morrissey’s office “to convert disorderly conduct and trespassing charges in that way.”
Hill’s Boston-based attorney, Francis T. O’Brien, called the incident “a terribly unfortunate event that should never have escalated beyond a routine encounter with stadium security.”
“Commendably, the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office recognized this and the matter was appropriately resolved as a civil, non criminal, infraction,” he said in an e-mail. "This was a fair and proper resolution and the matter is closed.”
Hill, in a statement, said “Despite Saturday’s events, my great respect for law enforcement remains unchanged.”
“However, seeing my wife handcuffed for a problem that started because of her fanny pack was extremely difficult for me to witness,” he said. “This was all overblown and we are glad to have it behind us.”
Hill, a Milton native, joined the major leagues in 2005 and spent several seasons with the Boston Red Sox. For the past three years, he has played for the Los Angeles Dodgers but is now a free agent working to recover from off-season surgery to his pitching arm.
Hill, who is 39, is slated to receive the 2019 Tony Conigliaro Award at the annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner Jan. 16 at the Seaport Hotel in Boston. The award is given to a “major leaguer who has overcome adversity through the attributes of spirit, determination, and courage that were trademarks of Tony C.”
In February, the couple donated $575,000 to support research on rare and undiagnosed genetic diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, a charitable effort they began after losing their son, Brooks Hill, about two months after he was born at MGH on Dec. 26, 2013, the Globe reported.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, an earlier version of this story misstated one of the two criminal charges filed against him by Foxborough police. Hill was charged with intimidating a police officer, a felony. Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office dismissed the charge before arraignment.
Danny McDonald of Globe staff contributed to this report.
John R. Ellement can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JREbosglobe.