Blue Jays pitching coach Walker enters not guilty plea for DUI charge

Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete walker watch a bullpen session in Dunedin. (Nathan Denette/CP)

DUNEDIN, Fla. — Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker, who was arrested and charged with driving under the influence early Friday morning, entered a plea of not guilty through his lawyer Monday and waived his appearance at a pre-trial conference, according to Pinellas County court documents. Kaitlyn B. Statile, a Clearwater, Fla. based attorney, represented Walker at the hearing.

A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office arrest affidavit obtained by Sportsnet alleges that Walker was pulled over driving 82 m.p.h. in a 45 m.p.h. zone in Oldsmar, Fla. at approximately 12:06 a.m. ET Friday and showed signs of impairment, including poor balance, bloodshot eyes, and a “strong odor of alcoholic beverage coming from his breath.”

Walker refused a breath alcohol content test and admitted to “drinking four beers at a bar/eating facility,” according to the affidavit. He was booked at 2:02 a.m. E.T. and released on $500 bond at 9:15 a.m. ET that day.

Walker has remained active with the club since his arrest. He was in uniform for games against the New York Yankees in Tampa on Saturday and the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. He spent Monday working at the Blue Jays’ player development complex in Dunedin, participating in meetings with players being assigned to minor-league camp.

When asked if Walker would face club discipline following the arrest, Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said, “we’re gathering information — so, we’ll see.” A club official asked the same question also refused to indicate whether Walker would be disciplined.

Walker’s only public comments on the matter came Saturday after Toronto’s Grapefruit League game against the Yankees.

“There was a traffic incident on Thursday night that I was involved in. Obviously, I'm very apologetic to the Blue Jays organization, Blue Jays fans, and my family,” Walker said. “It’s something that I'm working through with my attorney to get resolution to right now. Obviously, my apologies to my three daughters as well. Right now we're working through it with my attorney for a resolution in this. And that's the only comment I'll have right now.”

It’s unclear if Walker’s arrest could impact his ability to enter Canada with the team ahead of opening day on April 8, or to cross the border throughout the regular season. According to the federal government’s immigration website, individuals who have been convicted of both minor and serious crimes — including driving while under the influence — may be “criminally inadmissible” to Canada, although there are several exemptions one can apply for. Walker has not been convicted of a crime.

Walker has worked on Toronto’s major-league coaching staff since 2012, serving as pitching coach for the last nine seasons.

Editor's Note: One of the 30 MLB teams, the Toronto Blue Jays, is owned by Rogers Communications Inc., which also owns Sportsnet.

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