Below is the statement issued in Spanish by Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Jose Tabata concerning his wife kidnapping of an infant in Plant City earlier this week. The statement was given by Tabata outside of Pirate City in Bradenton, Florida this afternoon. This statement was obtained by the St. Petersburg Times reporter Alexandra Zayas. I am reprinting the article for the MLBlog.com’s community.
On Monday, Tabata had told his team he was excited to meet his baby daughter for the first time, said general manager Neal Huntington. His wife had shown people pictures of the baby.
This was the rest of his statement:
“I was completely surprised when I was told that my wife had been arrested this Tuesday because she had never shown any malicious behavior. I had no idea what to think because this news was one of the hardest blows I have had in my life and I don’t have many words that can effectively communicate all of my feelings at this time,” Tabata said in his statement.
“What I do know is that I am a Pittsburgh Pirate and my lifelong idol is Roberto Clemente. And because of that, when presented with this difficult situation, I asked myself, ‘What would Clemente do in this situation?’ I know Clemente was a man known for his decency, responsibility, doing what he says and always doing the correct thing. And I believe that the only correct thing in this moment is to tell the truth.
“As you and Pirate fans get to know me, you’ll understand that, when this is all over, I will never be able to forgive her for her cruel actions. You will also understand that I will do everything possible, with the support of God and my family here with the Pirates, to overcome this craziness. The truth is that I would never wish this situation on anybody, but I know that life has its good and its bad, and I know that the good times are not too far off in the future.
“With respect to my wife’s case, I, like you, have questions that remained unanswered. However, the sheriff’s deputies have told me not to speak about the details of her criminal case, including the details of our history together and the lies she led me to believe about her. Therefore, I will not be able to comment further or answer any of your questions until the investigation is complete. I do give thanks to God that no harm was made to that baby girl and that she is in safe hands with her parents. My thoughts will always be with them.
Finally, I am thankful for the strong support of my teammates, coaches and everyone within the Pirates organization during this difficult time. I appreciate everyone’s concern for me and I ask that you will respect my privacy both now and in the future.”
In an added note to the story:
Meanwhile, a woman in North Tampa feels like the abduction would have been prevented if sheriff’s deputies had listened to her after she tried to report a similar run-in with Pereira just last month. The circumstances are eerily similar to the Plant City abduction. Taina Lopez, a young mother, was outside a health clinic with her two-month-old baby daughter when Pereira, an old acquaintance, approached her, telling her a story.
Lopez, unlike the Plant City mother, didn’t give up the baby. Instead, she went straight to the Hillsborough Sheriff’s Office. Spokeswoman Debbie Carter said no report was ever filed but that a front desk deputy vaguely remembered her. “She said she knew the woman. There was no crime. They went their separate ways and that was the end.” Lopez says her sister later spoke to Pereira, who told her she was trying to steal the young mother’s car, because someone was offering her $10,000 for it.
Lopez says she is furious that authorities dismissed her. Now, they want to hear what she has to say.
Photo credit : (Atoyia Dean) www.TBO.com