Justin Sellers says arrest was 'a big misunderstanding'

Chris Humphreys-US PRESSWIRE

The infielder reported to camp one day early on Thursday and gave his side of the story regarding his Jan. 23 arrest near his home in West Sacramento.

Justin Sellers reported to Dodgers camp early on Thursday, one day before position players report, and wanted everyone to know his side of the story from his Jan. 19 arrest.

"I just want to make it very clear that I didn't mean to bring this negative attention to the Dodgers," Sellers said. "It was a very frustrating situation for me and my family, because I don't know what I did wrong."

Sellers was arrested at his West Sacramento for reckless driving on his motorcycle and evading arrest on Jan. 19, with reports of a chase. But the infielder said it didn't happen quite as reported.

"It was a big misunderstanding. There was not a helicopter, nothing like that. There were no pedestrians in the area. They did me wrong. It was horrible. I felt, man, this was not good," Sellers said. "There are bigger crimes out there then messing with me on a dirt bike."

Two days prior to his arrest, Sellers was hitting baseballs with a friend, the son of a West Sacramento police officer. Through that friend, Sellers was able to participate in a ride-along and was introduced to 10 officers, many of whom were Giants fans.

"I probably did five or six calls. I remember specifically officers on the intercom were messing with me, saying 'That's right, we won the World Series.' My buddy who I did the ride along with said, 'You're in their world, they're going to mess with you a little bit, just handle it'," Sellers said. "I was having a great time, and wanted to do it again."

Two days later, Sellers said he was riding motorcycles with his brother-in-law at the motorcycle trail roughly 20 yards from his house. He said there were three other riders on the track at the time. Sellers returned home and said he was driving "between 15 and 20 miles per hour" on the street between the trail and his house when he saw a police car behind him.

Sellers returned to his house and called his friend to ask if the officer was "messing with him," and on his friend's advice went outside to address the situation. When he went downstairs, the officer told Sellers to put his hands behind his back and arrested him.

"I don't want to say I was singled out," Sellers said. "I felt something wasn't right. Some of the questions that I received on Thursday showed a little jealousy towards me. One of (the cops) was a minor league pitcher with the Padres who didn't make it to the major leagues. I don't know, they just really wanted to make a point that I was on a motorcycle, and tried to get me in trouble. They did a good job of it."

Sellers spent five hours in jail.

"To go from having a great time, being in the front of the cop car Thursday to two days later being in the back of the cop car for something I really shouldn't be in the back of the cop car for," Sellers said. "They did know that I was a major league baseball player for the Dodgers, and they did say I was in Giant country."

Sellers was asked if he felt he was set up.

"I can't say that. I don't want to say that. At the time I got pulled over, I was doing nothing wrong," he said.

Sellers has a court date in March, but said he will not have to attend. If he is eventually required to appear in court, Sellers said he plans to try to postpone the date as to not conflict with baseball season.

"I'm hoping this is all over and I can start focusing on this right now. It's game time," he said. "I've been riding motorcycles since I was six years old. I wouldn't do anything to jeopardize my career, especially so close to spring training."

Sellers said he was fully recovered from his Aug. 23 back surgery, and is concentrating on baseball.

"After rehabbing from surgery, I started just getting in baseball mode," he said.

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