PHOENIX (AP) — Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested Wednesday on aggravated assault charges in connection with two altercations at his home in July involving a woman and their 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” involving the 27-year-old victim, whom they did not identify. Police said they were carrying out a search warrant of his residence in pursuit of more evidence.
There was no reply to telephone message left for Dwyer’s agent, Adisa Bakari, seeking a comment Wednesday.
Authorities depicted a stormy relationship between Dwyer and the woman that escalated into violence on July 21, four days before the Cardinals reported to training camp.
Neighbors heard a fight and called police, who showed up at the residence but left without making an arrest because Dwyer hid in the bathroom and the woman said no one else was at the home. “She said she was in an argument on the phone only,” said Sgt. Trent Crump.
The next day, Crump said Dwyer snatched the woman’s cellphone and threw it from the second floor of their residence to prevent her from calling police about another dispute.
Crump said the woman moved out of state with the child, but came forward last week and provided police with information about her injuries and text messages indicating Dwyer “was going to harm himself because of what had been going on.”
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. Then Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson was indicted on child-abuse charges. On Wednesday, the Carolina Panthers decided that star defensive end Greg Hardy will not play any more games for the team until his domestic violence case is resolved.
Hardy was convicted of assault on a female and communicating threats after the victim said the 6-foot-4, 275-pound player threw her in the bathtub and onto a sofa covered with guns before threatening to kill her. Hardy is appealing the ruling.
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 was being booked into jail on counts that include aggravated assault causing a fracture and involving a minor, along with criminal damage and preventing the use of a phone in an emergency.
The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, which runs the jail, said Dwyer has refused all media interviews.
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. He scored a touchdown last week for the Cardinals in their win against the Giants.
His best year for Pittsburgh was 2012 when injuries depleted the team’s backfield in the middle of the season and Dwyer filled in and ran for 100-yard-plus games in consecutive weeks.