Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer head-butted his wife and broke her nose after she refused his sexual advances, and punched her in the face the next day, police have said, today.
The details surfaced in a law enforcement report a day after Dwyer was arrested on aggravated assault charges and deactivated from all team activities after he was taken into custody at the Cardinals’ practice facility and headquarters in Tempe. He spent a night in jail and made a brief court appearance before being released on bail early on Thursday.
The arrest came at a time when the NFL and its commissioner are under fire for violent off-the-field encounters involving some of the league’s marquee players, including Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Greg Hardy. The NFL has said the Dwyer case will be reviewed under the league’s personal-conduct policy.
Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday on aggravated assault charges in connection with two altercations at his home in July involving a woman and an 18-month-old child, the latest in a string of such cases involving NFL players.
The Cardinals said they became aware of the situation on Wednesday and are cooperating with the investigation.
Dwyer has been deactivated from all team activities. The NFL said the case will be reviewed under the league’s personal-conduct policy.
One of the counts was “aggravated assault causing a fracture” against the 27-year-old victim on 21 July.
Neighbours heard a fight and called police, who showed up at the residence. Police sergeant Trent Crump said Dwyer hid in the bathroom until police left.
The next day, Crump said Dwyer snatched the woman’s cellphone and threw it from the second floor of their home to prevent her from calling police about another dispute.
The woman came forward last week, providing police with information about her injuries and text messages that indicated Dwyer “was going to harm himself because of what had been going on,” police said.
The NFL has been rocked by domestic violence issues ever since a videotape surfaced that showed former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocking out his then-fiancee in an Atlantic City elevator.
Later Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on child-abuse charges.
Critics have been calling on NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down after Rice only received a two-game suspension for the attack before the video emerged.
Dwyer, 25, signed with the Cardinals earlier this year and was their second-string running back after spending the last four years with the Pittsburgh Steelers.