Assault charge against former NFL football player Mark Rypien dismissed
SPOKANE, Wash. — The City of Spokane Prosecutor’s Office has dropped an assault charge against football legend and former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien on Friday.
Rypien was arrested on a domestic violence charge in late June. He appeared in court and was booked in jail shortly after on the fourth-degree charge.
In court, Rypien’s attorney Chris Bugbee said Rypien did hit his wife, but argued he didn’t commit a crime because he was trying to save both from getting hurt in a car accident.
“The reason he did that is that while he was driving his vehicle, he was involved in an argument with his wife, who, in response, covered his face with her hands and he basically moved his right hand in a fashion to move her hands from his view so that he could see the road,” Bugbee said in July.
The city initially asked to have a no contact order issued for Rypien and his wife. His wife had a YWCA legal advocate ask the commissioner to reconsider and ultimately, the commissioner sided with Rypien’s wife.
Rypien pleaded not guilty and a court commissioner released him on his own recognizance.
On Friday, Rypien released the following statement after announcing the charges were dropped:
In light of the dismissal of the misdemeanor assault charge against me, I want to express my appreciation to the citizen callers who reported this incident and to the officers involved for their efforts to protect Danielle on the day of this incident. I also appreciate the professionalism of the officers, jail staff, court personnel and the prosecutor’s office in having treated me with respect and civility through a very difficult process.
I want to be clear that I did not assault Danielle. We were having an argument and she put her hands on my face, blocking my view of the road while I was driving. I shoved her aside out of actual fear that I might drive our car into a pedestrian, or otherwise cause a collision that could harm others or one of us. This was done to protect innocent bystanders and both her and I — I had no intent to harm or offend [Danielle] in any way.
I want to emphasize that I in no way condone domestic abuse of any kind. As I have previously publicly disclosed, I have a probable diagnosis of CTE. CTE can cause mood and behavioral disturbances that can include impulsivity, aggressiveness, anger and irritability. In the past I have shared that I suffer from some of these symptoms. I have a team of doctors, counselors and other professionals who are tops in their fields who help Danielle and I manage this condition. They have and continue to work with Danielle and I in dealing with the issues caused by this condition — including setting up a plan for how we deal with episodes of irritability, anger and aggressiveness. This incident was not caused by one of those episodes.
While it has been difficult for both Danielle and I to go through this process so publicly, we are grateful for the result. I am fortunate to have a voice to denounce abuse of women and intimate partners of any gender. I am also fortunate to be able to share with others who may be suffering from CTE that there are resources available to help them deal with this intractable condition.
Rypien was raised in Spokane and was a standout quarterback at Washington State University in the 1980s. He played in the NFL and was a Super Bowl MVP.
Rypien has been vocal about his mental health, blaming football-related head injures for anxiety and depression.
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