ESTERO — A former Estero High School baseball star suspended in December by Major League Baseball for reported drug use was arrested in San Carlos park early New Year’s Day and charged with DUI and resisting arrest without violence.
It is the latest in a series of problems for St. Louis Cardinals minor-leaguer Tyler Bighames, who was suspended for 50 games Dec. 21 following a second positive drug test for what the league categorized as a “drug of abuse.”
An arrest report from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office states that an officer pulled Bighames, 18, of 3322 E. Riverside, Estero, over in the area of 18000 block of Olive Road, off of San Carlos Blvd., around 2:30 a.m. on Jan. 1. The arresting deputy reported the driver of a two-door, yellow Ford Mustang was weaving “from one lane of traffic to another,” and nearly hit two parked cars while driving 50 mph in a 30 mph zone.
Sad. He blew more than his batting average!
When the deputy initiated a traffic stop, the report states, Bighames got out of the vehicle and started to run north on Olive Road, then tried to jump a fence in the back yard of a home. At that point, the deputy deployed his taser, causing the Bighames to fall to the ground, the report states.
Once Bighames was in custody, he was cooperative, the report states, and he “kept saying he was sorry but it was in a very slurred and mumbled speech.”
While in custody, the report states that Bighames performed two breath tests and provided a result of .234 percent and .223 percent blood-alcohol content, nearly three-times the legal limit of .08 percent to operate a motor vehicle. In addition to the charge of DUI and resisting arrest without violence, Bighames was charged with speeding and driving in the wrong lane.
Bighames was drafted by the Cardinals in the 31st round of last summer’s major-league draft; he signed a professional contract with the club rather than accept a scholarship to play for the University of Oregon.
During his time with a St. Louis farm team, the Gulf Coast League Cardinals, over the summer, Bighames batted .216 with one home run and 18 RBIs in 33 games. He played several positions, appearing most often at the corner outfield spots. His suspension will begin at the start of the 2010 season.
When Estero High School baseball coach was informed of Bighames suspension in December, he told a Daily News reporter he was “shocked and disappointed.”
“The kid has got some skill but I’m kind of at a loss for words,” he said at the time. “He’s young and hopefully he can learn from his mistakes because now he has two strikes and I know you get three strikes and you’re out.”
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday, the St. Louis Cardinals communications office had not provided any information about how Bighames’ recent arrest might affect his contract with the league, and whether the DUI arrest would represent “strike three.”