Ex-All-Star reliever faces robbery charge in Florida incident
By Andrew Marra
Palm Beach Post
December 28, 2005
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- After robbing a jewelry store with a threatening note Monday, former baseball great Jeff Reardon blamed the incident on anti-depressant medication as he surrendered to a security guard, police said.
"I completely lost my mind and tried to rob [the] jewelry store," Reardon said in a written confession, according to police. "I flipped on my medications and didn't realize what I was doing."
The 50-year-old former All-Star relief pitcher was carrying $170 in a green shopping bag after the incident in Palm Beach Gardens, police said.
Reardon, a Palm Beach Gardens resident for more than 20 years, spent a night in jail on a charge of armed robbery before a judge released him on $5,000 bond. He was placed on house arrest and ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.
Mitchell Beers, Reardon's attorney, said his client had been on anti-depressants and receiving medical treatment since the death of his son Shane, 20, who overdosed on drugs near Orlando in February 2004. Beers said Reardon had been taking additional medication since undergoing an angioplasty Friday.
Shortly before noon Monday, as the mall was jammed with post-Christmas shoppers, the thick-bearded Reardon walked up to a cashier and handed over a note demanding money and jewelry, warning that no one would get shot if the employees obeyed, according to the arrest report.
The cashier summoned her manager, who read the note and gave Reardon cash from the register.
Police were alerted moments later. They spotted Reardon as he was approaching a security guard in the mall parking lot.
Reardon reportedly told the security guard he had just robbed the jewelry store, explaining that he was on medication and didn't know what he was doing. As he showed the guard the money-filled bag, the police officers arrived.
"We approached him and ordered him to stop, and he did so," police Lt. David O'Neill said. "He was cooperative and sorry about what he had done."
Beers said he did not think Reardon would be formally charged with armed robbery because he was not in possession of a weapon.
Reardon was a private man who kept most of his suffering inside since his son's death. He made more than $11 million in his 16-year career.
Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Palmer said the arrest seemed completely contrary to Reardon's character.
"It's horrible," Palmer said. "It's out of character. The good news is that nobody got hurt. The bad news is he's going to have to deal with whatever caused this."
A four-time All-Star, Reardon had 367 saves and a 3.16 ERA. He's sixth all time in saves.