Richard J. Hill was “violent and aggressive” and lunged at a Foxborough police detective in a “tumultuous manner” as police were steering the wife of the Major League Baseball pitcher into a police van after she was arrested for swearing at security and repeatedly trying to sneak an oversize fanny pack into Gillette Stadium Saturday, according to two police reports.
Hill was arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and intimidating police while his wife, Caitlin A. Hill, was charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing for their actions around 5 p.m. while the game between the New England Patriots and Buffalo Bills was underway, the police reports obtained by the Globe stated.
The couple appeared in Wrentham District Court on Monday where Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey’s office ended the criminal prosecution by dismissing the felony charge of intimidating an officer against the former Boston Red Sox pitcher and allowing the remaining charges to be reduced to civil infractions. Hill paid a $500 civil fine while his wife paid two fines of $250 each, according to Morrissey’s office and court records.
According to a report prepared by Norton Police Officer Patricia Allen, Caitlin Hill arrived at one of the Gillette’s West 2 gate where she was told by a security guard that her fanny pack exceeded size restrictions imposed by the NFL as a security precaution and she would not be able to bring it in. “She decided to hide it in her coat” and was told by the same security guard "she could not bring her purse (fanny pack) in,'' Allen wrote.
“She became belligerent and began swearing at” the security guard “and giving him the middle finger," leading the security guard to cancel Caitlin Hill’s ticket, Allen wrote.
At that point, Caitlin Hill went to another gate and tried to get in there while Richard Hill approached Allen and the security guard. Allen summoned another police officer who told Richard Hill “they had to take Caitlin off the property. Ms. Hill again went to another gate and again gave [security] a hard time” at the Bank of America gate, Allen wrote.
Caitlin Hill continued to object. "She refused to leave and was very aggressive & argumentative,'' wrote Allen, who was one of the officers from other departments who are deputized as Foxborough police officers during Gillette stadium events. “I then cuffed her and arrested her for trespassing and disorderly.”
Foxborough police Detective Patrick J. Hoffman, who was assisting with the arrest of Caitlin Hill, described what he witnessed before she was arrested, and what happened as officers tried to move Caitlin Hill into the prisoner transport van.
“Ms. Hill was accompanied by several individuals. Those individuals were attempting to take her away from the stadium,'' Hoffman wrote. “At times Ms. Hill was physically being picked up by these friends and family members and being brought away from the Bank of America gate” but was then arrested by Allen.
Caitlin Hill refused a police request to get into the police van, leading “several officers” to try and get her into the van, the report said. As they struggled, the one-time pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers who is six feet, five inches tall and weighs around 250 pounds approached police at the van, according to the report.
On three different times, Hoffman ordered Hill to back away and to stand at a specific spot away from his wife and the officers, the report said. Hill did take one step back, but told Hoffman he did not have to leave where he was then standing, according to the report.
When Hoffman issued his third command, "Mr. Richard Hill’s face became focused and wide eyed. I observed his body become tense and rigid,'' Hoffman wrote. “He then lunged toward me in a tumultuous manner. At the same time yelling that he did not have to move.”
Hoffman wrote that Hill’s actions were preventing him from helping officers secure Caitlin Hill. "I felt Mr. Richard Hill’s actions served only to try to intimidate me and further prevent me from assisting the other officers,'' Hoffman wrote. “At this time, I told Mr. Richard Hill he was under arrest.”
According to Hoffman, Hill balked at being handcuffed and would not put his hands behind his back as the officers were ordering him to do.
Hill was eventually handcuffed and was “compliant” when police put him in the prisoner transport van.
A security supervisor told Hoffman he had watched the entire incident and described Hill as “violent and aggressive” towards the police officer.
Francis T. O’Brien Jr., the attorney for the Hills, did not immediately return a telephone call and email seeking comment on Tuesday. However, following the court appearances for the Hills on Monday, he released a statement applauding Morrissey’s office for bringing an end to what he called "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.”
The pitcher also released a statement. "Despite Saturday’s events, my great respect for law enforcement remains unchanged,'' he said. “However, seeing my wife handcuffed for a problem that started because of her fanny pack was extremely difficult for me to witness. 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 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.