The Pittsburgh Pirates minor leaguer whose wife has been accused of stealing a baby from a Florida couple says he was "shocked" to learn of the charges.
Twenty-year-old outfielder Jose Tabata said Wednesday that he is "hurt, frustrated, and confused" by the alleged behavior of his 43-year-old wife, Amalia Tabata Pereira.
"I was shocked to be told today that my wife has been arrested for kidnapping," Tabata said in a statement. "I have and will continue to cooperate with law enforcement officials in any way that I can. Until I have all of the facts, I cannot comment any further."
Pereira is accused of taking a 2-month-old girl from a woman she met Monday at a public health clinic in Plant City, east of Tampa. She was allegedly posing as an immigration official when she fled with the child.
She was arrested Tuesday after turning the baby over to sheriff's deputies near Bradenton, where the Pirates are in spring training.
Arrest records obtained by MyFOXTampaBay.com showed that she served 33 months in prison, and was previously arrested in Hillsborough County on charges of arson, forgery, burglary, and filing a false report.
She has been charged with interference with child custody, kidnapping and false imprisonment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.