Former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien recently acknowledged to a Washington state police officer that he struck his wife Danielle (right) during a domestic dispute, but his attorney later contended it was in self-defense
Newly released police body cam footage shows the wife of former Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Rypien crawling on the ground and struggling to catch her breath after being struck by the 56-year-old former Super Bowl MVP.
Rypien admitted to Spokane, Washington police that he did hit his wife Danielle on June 30 as they were driving in a car together. However, a Washington state judge dismissed the fourth-degree assault charge against Rypien last month.
Danielle can be heard coughing and struggling to breathe in the body cam video, prompting police to ask Rypien what happened.
‘She had the wind knocked out her when I kind of threw her hand off me and she was covering my face up and I was scared we going to get in a wreck,’ Rypien told police.
In testimony to police, Rypien claimed he and Danielle were having an argument when she covered his eyes as he drove, adding that he knocked the wind out of her as he attempted to push her hands away from his face.
According to police, Rypien said Danielle also hit him with a cell phone, poured water on him, and removed the keys from the ignition as he was driving. An officer confirmed that the driver’s seat was wet.
Video shows Danielle Rypien crawling along the curb after being struck by her husband
In testimony to police, 56-year-old Mark Rypien claimed he and wife Danielle were having an argument when she covered his eyes as he drove, adding that he knocked the wind out of her as he attempted to push her hands away from his face. In this picture she is seen on the ground
Previously released video of the immediate aftermath of the incident was obtained by TMZ and shows Danielle crawling in the grass along the side of the road as she attempted to catch her breath. It is unclear who is responsible for recording the incident.
Police on the scene noted that she was struggling to breathe when they got to her.
When she did catch her breath, Danielle immediately began defending her husband, insisting that he was ‘sick’ from history of concussions.
According to the police report, Danielle first asked a witness to call 911, but later begged officers not to arrest her husband, saying it could disrupt his charity, the Rypien Foundation.
‘What do I have to say so that you arrest me and not him?’ she asked officers.
A police body cam also recorded Danielle’s pleas.
‘You take this man to jail and you’re hurting the whole community,’ Danielle can be heard saying as she sobbed to police. ‘He raises money for cancer and it will hurt his reputation in a way he can’t come back from and I’m begging you.’
A report by Spokane Officer Todd Brownlee said Rypien acknowledged hitting his wife, Danielle, on June 30. The former Washington Redskins quarterback told police that his wife covered his eyes as he drove and she got the ‘wind knocked out of her’ after he pushed her hands away. Charges against Rypien have since been dismissed by a Washington judge
Former Washington State quarterback and Superbowl MVP Mark Rypien appears alongside defense attorney Chris Bugbee via video conference for a hearing presided over by commissioner Kristin O’Sullivan on July 1 in Spokane. Rypien was arrested a day earlier for alleged fourth degree domestic violence against his wife. Charges have since been dropped
Rypien previously admitted that he has a probable diagnosis for CTE, a degenerative brain disease associated with repeated head injuries. A full diagnosis can only be done posthumously.
Through his attorney, Rypien released a statement insisting that he did not assault his wife.
‘I want to be clear that I did not assault Danielle,’ the statement read. ‘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 bother her and I – I had no intent to harm or offend Daniel (sic) in any way.
‘I want to emphasize that I in no way condone domestic abuse of any kind,’ he added.
Rypien was a lead plaintiff among 4,500 former football players who won a settlement from the NFL related to CTE in 2013. Numerous NFL players have reported a wide variety of problems related to CTE, including homelessness, erratic behavior, suicide and other early deaths
Rypien also made it clear that his history of head injuries is unrelated to this particular incident.
‘I have a team of doctors, counselors, and other professionals who are tops in their fields who help Danielle and I manage this condition – including setting up a plan for how we deal with episodes of irritability, anger and aggressiveness,’ he said.
‘This incident was not caused by one of those episodes.’
Rypien was a lead plaintiff among 4,500 former football players who won a settlement from the NFL related to CTE in 2013. Numerous NFL players have reported a wide variety of problems related to CTE, including homelessness, erratic behavior, suicide and other early deaths.
‘There were behaviors that were just bizarre,’ said Rypien told The Spokane Spokesman-Review of his own situation in 2018. ‘They didn’t fit anything.
‘My story is impactful because people see me in a different light. I want them to see me in an accurate light. I’ve been down the darkest path. I’ve made some horrible, horrible mistakes. But I’ve given myself a chance to progress forward.’
A native of Calgary who played at Washington State, Rypien was Doug Williams’s backup on the Redskins team that won Super Bowl XXII.
At the end of the 1991 season, Rypien was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXVI as the Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills.
He played in four games during his last season in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts in 2001, although he did not play between 1998 and 2000 as be bounced around the league.
Rypien earned nearly $12 million over 14 NFL seasons.
At the end of the 1991 season, Rypien was named the most valuable player of Super Bowl XXVI as the Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills. He played in four games during his last season in the NFL with the Indianapolis Colts in 2001, although he did not play between 1998 and 2000 as be bounced around the league. Rypien earned nearly $12 million over 14 NFL seasons