Jeff Reardon Charged with Armed Robbery
Former Major League closer Jeff Reardon has been charged with armed robbery.
Jeff Reardon, one of the top relief pitchers in history, blamed medication for depression after his arrest for a jewelry store robbery. Police said Tuesday that the 50-year-old Reardon, retired since 1994 and sixth in career 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.
Reardon, who starred with the Montreal Expos, Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox, fled the store with $170 in cash, according to a report in the Palm Beach Post. Police found him at a nearby restaurant, recovered the stolen money and charged him with armed robbery.
Lt. David O’Neill said Reardon did not have a gun and offered no resistance when he was handcuffed. “He said it was the medication that made him do it and that he was sorry,” O’Neill said. According to the arrest report cited in the Palm Beach Post, Reardon told police: “I am taking medication and am sorry for what happened … I completely lost my mind and tried to rob (a) jewelry store. I flipped on my medications and didn’t realize what I was doing.” O’Neill said Reardon has lived in the city for more than 20 years and has never caused any problems. Reardon’s attorney, Mitchell Beers, said that Reardon had taken antidepressants since his son’s death in early 2004. In addition, he had taken additional medication after surgery last week.
A sad situation.
I know little about the effects of antidepressants and, given the number of people who take them in the United States, I would hate to see them become a get-out-of-jail-free card. That said, given Reardon’s age and lack of previous history, I’m inclined to believe him.
Update: The Florida Masochist offers a dissenting view.