PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. — Jeff Reardon, one of the best relief pitchers ever, was charged with robbing a jewelry store, then blamed his arrest on medication he was taking for depression.
The 50-year-old Reardon, retired since 1994 and sixth in saves, walked into Hamilton Jewelers at the Gardens Mall on Monday and handed an employee a note saying he had a gun and the store was being robbed, police said Tuesday.
Reardon, who starred with the Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, fled the store with an undisclosed amount of cash, police said. Officers found him at a nearby restaurant, recovered the stolen money and arrested him. He has been charged with armed robbery.
Lt. David O'Neill said Reardon did not have a gun and offered no resistance when handcuffed.
"He said it was the medication that made him do it and that he was sorry," O'Neill said.
He said Reardon has lived in the city for more than 20 years and had never caused problems.
Reardon briefly appeared in court Tuesday and was to be released on $5,000 bail, said his attorney, Mitchell Beers.
He said Reardon had a 20-year-old son who died of a drug overdose in February 2004, which has been "very difficult for him and his family," and has been on medication for depression. Reardon, who is married and has two other children, also underwent a heart angioplasty last week and has been taking medication for that condition.
"He asked me to apologize to his fans and friends," Beers said. "This bizarre incident is completely uncharacteristic of Jeff Reardon."
He said Reardon, who made more than $11.5 million during his career, according to baseballreference.com, was not having financial problems.