Mark Rypien pleads not guilty to domestic violence charge

Mark Rypien pleads not guilty to domestic violence charge

Spokane football legend and former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien was arrested on a domestic violence charge Sunday evening in Spokane.

According to the Spokane County Jail inmate roster, Rypien was booked into jail at 6:28 p.m. Sunday on a fourth degree domestic violence charge.

In court Monday, 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 them 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.

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 Monday and a court commissioner released him on his own recognizance. He’s now scheduled to be back in court on July 31 for a pretrial hearing.

In response to the arrest, the Rypien family issued the following statement:

“We want you to know that he did not commit any crime. As a family we are deeply concerned about the situation. Occurrences like this one are often chaotic scenes which are not conducive to revealing full clarity about what actually transpires.”

The statement further reveals their intention to cooperate with authorities in the investigation, and to remind people that Rypien likely suffers from CTE, a form of mental deterioration associated with concussions that football players commonly get.

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.

He has been vocal about his mental health, blaming football-related head injuries for anxiety and depression.