The wife of Tampa Bay Devil Rays rookie outfielder Elijah Dukes filed for a restraining order against her husband and said she fears for her life, The St. Petersburg Times reported Wednesday.
NiShea Gilbert, a middle-school teacher, said that Dukes allegedly burst into her classroom at lunchtime in April. A frightened Gilbert then ran to the principal and got a deputy, who banished Dukes from the school.
Gilbert told a Florida court that Dukes threatened to kill her and sent her a photo of a handgun to her cell phone.
Gilbert played a voice mail allegedly from Dukes for the newspaper. “You dead, dawg. I ain’t even [expletive]. Your kids, too.”
Gilbert has filed requests for protection twice in the last month, according to the newspaper. A hearing on her latest request is scheduled for May 30.
“I just don’t think I should live in fear,” Gilbert told the newspaper. “When [the Rays] go out of town, I come home. When they’re at home, I go stay with my mother. I shouldn’t have to live like that because he’s a baseball player.”
When approached by the newspaper before Tuesday night’s game, Dukes declined to comment on Gilbert’s allegations.
“I’m just going to play ball, that’s it,” Dukes told the newspaper. “I’ve got to go. I’ve got a video game to finish.”
Dukes is batting .231 in his first major league season with eight home runs and 13 RBIs.
Usually when you hear something like this you say “I can’t believe it”. Not this time. Sadly many people could’ve seen this coming.
Dukes, 22, has been arrested 6 times in the last 9 years. He has also been suspended multiple times by the Rays organization, including a season ending 35 game suspension 2 years ago.
Dukes needs help and he needs help fast. The Rays should’ve traded him (like I said) for some pitching help before he blew up again. The Rays have been way too passive about Dukes and a suspension should come out of this, showing the players in this organization that character should matter. This could hurt the Rays right now but it’s the right move to make.
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