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TV sportscaster arrested

Published May 4, 2005

LARGO - ABC Action News sports director Al Keck, 50, was arrested early Tuesday after his wife accused him of pushing her into a concrete column at their Largo home, authorities said.

While being booked into Pinellas County Jail on a charge of domestic battery, Keck complained of chest pain and was taken to Northside Hospital as a precaution, said Sgt. Jim Bordner, a sheriff's spokesman.

Keck was released on his own recognizance, said Bruce Bartlett, the chief assistant state attorney. The sportscaster remained a patient Tuesday. His condition was unknown.

Later Tuesday, Cheryl Keck, 46, went to prosecutors and in a sworn statement said she had only fallen, Bartlett said.

"The problem facing us, of course, is where do we go from here?" said Bartlett, adding that domestic violence victims often change their account to spare loved ones from prosecution.

Cheryl Keck had scrapes on her right arm and right knee when deputies arrived, Bordner said. The two "have been having some marital difficulties for a little while," the sergeant said.

Cheryl Keck called her husband at the television station Monday evening and told him that one of their children had been injured, Bordner said. When Keck returned home, his wife revealed that she had lied so that the two of them could speak in person, the sergeant said.

Then at 9:50 p.m., apparently angry by his wife's ruse, Al Keck pushed her against a column, Cheryl Keck told deputies, according to Bordner.

Al Keck then returned to the station in time for the 11 p.m. broadcast while his wife called authorities, Bordner said. Deputies contacted the sportscaster at the station and during a meeting at the Sheriff's Office, he denied pushing his wife, Bordner said.

He was booked at 1:30 a.m.

Phone messages left at the Keck residence were not returned.

"We're aware of the situation and we'll be looking into it," said Bill Carey, the station's general manager. "For now, it's a family matter and private."

[Last modified May 4, 2005, 00:56:08]

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