01/20/2003 12:00AM

Arroyo in jail for assault


OZONE PARK, N.Y. - Jockey Norberto Arroyo is currently serving jail time in the Nassau County Correctional Facility after being convicted on a second-degree assault charge stemming from a pool hall incident in June.

Arroyo, 25, began serving his sentence on Jan. 6 and is to be released on Feb. 13, according to an official at the correctional facility in East Meadow, N.Y.

Arroyo was originally charged with three counts of assault as the result of an early morning fight at Raxx Pool Hall in West Hempstead on June 9, just hours after the running of the Belmont Stakes. Arroyo was charged with assaulting three men with a pool cue. One of the men he struck in the head underwent surgery to relieve a brain hemorrhage.

Arroyo, New York's leading rider in 2000 and the runner-up for an Eclipse Award as the top apprentice that year, could have his license reviewed by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board following his release. It is unlikely, however, the board will take any further action against Arroyo, according to one racing official.

Arroyo has a history of violent behavior. In July 2001, Arroyo, his brother, and father were arrested and charged with the assault of a Bronx livery cab driver. Arroyo has also had altercations with security guards and trainers in the past.