Updated on 09/16/2011 7:45AM

Arroyo charged with assault


ELMONT, N.Y. - Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr. was arrested Friday night following the last race at Belmont Park and charged with multiple counts of assault for an incident at a Long Island, N.Y., pool hall on June 9, just hours after the running of the Belmont Stakes.

According to Nassau County detectives, Arroyo was playing pool at Raxx Pool Hall in West Hempstead at 3:30 a.m. when he got into a verbal altercation with three males at the next table.

According to a police press release, Arroyo approached one man from behind and struck him behind the left ear with the pool cue "causing him pain" and making him "disoriented." Arroyo then struck a second man on the arm and a third man in the head, causing him to fall to the floor.

The third man suffered serious head injuries and underwent surgery to relieve a brain hemorrhage and subdural hematoma.

Police would not release the names of the three men.

Arroyo was charged with three counts of possession of a dangerous weapon, 4th degree; two counts of assault, 2nd degree; and one count of assault, 1st degree. He spent Friday night in jail and was arraigned Saturday morning in a Nassau County court and released.

Arroyo was at Belmont Park briefly Saturday afternoon, but declined comment. Arroyo was listed on one mount at Belmont, but was taken off. He was also scheduled to ride Yonaguska in Saturday's $200,000 Philadelphia Park Breeders' Cup Handicap, but was taken off by trainer D. Wayne Lukas in favor of Heberto Castillo Jr.

This is the second time in a year that Arroyo has been in trouble with the law. On July 20, 2001, Arroyo, his brother, and his father were arrested and charged with the assault of a livery cab driver in the Bronx. Those charges have since been dismissed.

Arroyo was the leading rider in New York in 2000 with 188 wins and was the runner-up that year in the Eclipse Award voting as North America's top apprentice.