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Player for St. Paul Saints' opponent charged with punching hotel guest

Anthony Cheky

ST. PAUL—A minor league baseball player in town for a series against the St. Paul Saints last weekend is accused of punching a wedding guest in the face at the downtown hotel where his team was staying.

Anthony Craig Cheky, 24, of Portage, Ind., was charged Monday with third-degree felony assault in Ramsey County District Court.

Cheky was listed as an outfielder with the Gary SouthShore RailCats, who were in St. Paul for a three-game weekend series against the Saints at CHS Field in Lowertown.

The RailCats did not return a call seeking comment. The team's website no longer lists Cheky on its roster.

However, the Times of Northwest Indiana reported that Cheky, who was benched for Sunday's game, was released by the American Association team on Monday.

St. Paul police responded to a report of an assault at the InterContinental Hotel about 1:45 a.m. Sunday, where they found a 27-year-old man with a broken nose, according to the criminal complaint.

The injured man, identified only as "GJM," told officers he was at the hotel for a wedding reception when a man he didn't know walked up and punched him in the face, the complaint said. He told police his "next memory was of waking up on the floor with a very bloody nose and painful headache," according to the complaint.

Surveillance video showed a man later identified as Cheky approach GJM and punch him in the face "without provocation," the complaint said. Cheky is then seen kneeling over GJM, who appears to be unconscious, and punching him several more times in the head before walking off with a group of his teammates, according to the complaint.

Cheky made his initial court appearance Monday and was released on bond. His next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 16. No attorney was listed for Cheky in court documents.