A Maryland woman charged with falsely reporting a robbery of a Pittsburgh hotel room belonging to a Cincinnati Reds player is trying to get her charge reduced.
District Judge James Hanley postponed the preliminary hearing for Claudia Manrique on Tuesday. Instead, the judge gave the 26-year-old from Silver Spring, Md., until Nov. 28 to complete 50 hours of community service.
If Manrique does that, the judge will reduce her misdemeanor false report charge to a charge of disorderly conduct, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ( http://bit.ly/NC3WhH) reported Wednesday. Disorderly conduct is a summary offense, similar to a traffic ticket, which carries a $300 fine. The false report to police charge carries up to a year in prison.
Pittsburgh police said Manrique was in town with Reds reliever Aroldis Chapman when she claimed a man posing as a maintenance worker forced his way into the player's room at the Omni William Penn Hotel and robbed her on May 29. Chapman was playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates at the time.
Manrique told police the robber demanded a Lois Vuitton bag containing more than $200,000 of the player's jewelry, but she couldn't explain how the robber would have known about the bag. The bag wasn't stolen, although police said the robber did take about $6,000 in jewelry and other items _ some of which belonged to Manrique and other items to Chapman.
According to the police complaint, detectives interviewed Chapman through a team interpreter and Chapman told police "he believed that Manrique was involved with the theft and not being truthful." Chapman, a Cuban native, doesn't speak English.
Chapman told police that after Manrique arrived in Pittsburgh, she got several phone calls from a Spanish-speaking man whom she spoke to in English, apparently so Chapman would not understand her.
The police complaint doesn't specify what investigators believe happened that night, only that police believe Manrique's varying accounts are false.
Online court records don't list an attorney for Manrique, who declined to comment after her court appearance.
Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com