Arizona Diamondbacks prospect delayed after 2020 arrest for allegedly punching officer

PHOENIX -- One of the Arizona Diamondbacks' top prospects, Kristian Robinson, won't begin this season in the minor leagues, more than one year after he was arrested for allegedly punching an Arizona Department of Public Safety officer in the face.

Robinson, who was 19 at the time of the arrest, was charged with aggravated assault of a peace officer. Now 20, he is currently in his native country of Bahamas and working through visa issues related to his legal situation, according to his agent Kris Glazier.

Robinson was arrested on April 5, 2020, just a few weeks after the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the world, including professional baseball. The outfielder said in a statement that he was struggling with mental health issues.

According to police records, Robinson was found by officers on the side of Interstate 10 in the Phoenix area. The officer's statement said Robinson began walking into traffic lanes so he asked him to sit in the back of the patrol car and offered him a ride to the hospital. Robinson initially agreed.

But after the officer asked Robinson to put on his seat belt, the baseball player attempted to exit the car and punched the officer in the face, according to the report. He was subsequently arrested.

"Like so many, last year I was struggling to manage the stress of my personal life, the shutdown of the game I love and the overall global pandemic," Robinson said in a statement issued by the team this week. "While struggling with my mental health I acted out of character and I was involved in an incident that I take full responsibility for. I would like to apologize to Trooper Lough and to my family, teammates, coaches and the D-backs organization, who I am extremely grateful to for supporting me through this very difficult situation."

The Diamondbacks said they did not condone Robinson's behavior and that they "have been intimately involved in helping Kristian deal with these personal issues since they first took place last year, working closely with him and his representatives to address these challenges.

"... We have personally known Kristian for more than four years and believe in him as a person and have witnessed first-hand the steps he has taken to address these issues, get the help he needs, and commit himself to being better in the future."