Agent: Ponson assault charges to be dismissed

JUPITER, Fla. -- Orioles pitcher Sidney Ponson has reached a
settlement with the Aruban judge who accused the right-hander of
hitting him in the face, Ponson's agent said Friday.

Ponson's agent, Barry Praver, said the proper documentation had
been filed and that three assault charges stemming from a Christmas
Day brawl in his homeland will be dismissed.

Ponson was detained for 11 days in an Aruban police station for
allegedly punching a local judge during a Christmas Day fight on a

Judge Bob Wit ruled that the charges would be dismissed once the
two sides agreed to a settlement. Ponson must perform 80 hours of
community service, make a charitable contribution and compensate
the accusers.

The case delayed Ponson's spring training debut, as he was
unable to get a U.S. work visa that would allow him to pitch in
front of paying audiences. With the help of Orioles owner Peter
Angelos, he got the visa Thursday in the Dominican Republic and is
scheduled to make his first Grapefruit League appearance Saturday
against Los Angeles.

Ponson was accused of hitting an Aruban judge in the face after
several beachgoers told the pitcher that he was harassing people
with his personal watercraft and operating it recklessly.

Wit postponed a ruling on the case, giving Ponson until May 10
to reach an out-of-court settlement. The judge said he considered
the pitcher's career when postponing the case because Ponson's work
visa could be taken away if he is convicted.