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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien accused of domestic violence Sunday night

Former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence Sunday, June 30, 2019, after an incident in north Spokane. (KHQ / Courtesy)

Former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence Sunday evening, after an incident in north Spokane.

Police responded to a call near Washington Trust Bank near Maple Street and Garland Avenue around 5:40 p.m. and arrested Rypien on a fourth-degree assault charge. According to KHQ, which arrived at the same time as officers, Rypien, 56, was seen standing near the bank while his wife was lying in the grass. She was evaluated, but did not need medical treatment.

Spokane Police Sgt. Kyle Yrigollen said a third party called law enforcement.

Rypien was handcuffed at the scene and put in the back of a police car, according to KHQ video. He was processed at the Spokane County Jail about 6:30 p.m. Sunday night and awaits his first appearance in court on Monday.

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Rypien has said he believes he has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, caused by repeated concussions while playing in the NFL. He said the condition has caused him to have erratic and sometimes violent behavior as well as severe depression. He was a lead plaintiff among 4,500 former NFL players who sued the NFL and won a settlement related to CTE in 2013.

In an interview last year, he acknowledged that he was involved in a domestic violence incident in November 2017. His wife was arrested, but he and his wife indicated that he was the party most at fault.

As the couple prepared to go out to an event, she sensed agitation on Rypien’s part and probed for the reasons. Triggered by too many “why questions,” he said, a verbal altercation ensued.

“I got angry, and I threw her on the bed a couple of times,” he said last year.

Police were called. State law requires mandatory arrest in responding to domestic violence.

“I had some bruises. I wasn’t black-and-blue,” his wife said last year. “And I don’t regret it, per se, but I did not tell the police what happened. I didn’t see any good coming from that. If they had locked Mark up, what’s that going to do? Lock up someone who’s on a medication? If he were doing this all the time, that would be different. This was a fluke thing.”

The misdemeanor assault charge against his wife was dismissed.

Rypien and his wife blamed a medication change for his behavior.

A graduate of Shadle Park High School, Rypien was an All-Pac-10 passer at Washington State University and went on to the NFL where he was named the MVP of Super Bowl XXVI in 1991 while playing for the Washington Redskins. He founded the Rypien Foundation in 2004 to aid in the treatment and comfort of childhood cancer patients.