Arizona Cardinals Player Formally Charged in Domestic Violence Case

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NFL football player Jonathan Dwyer, (Courtesy:
NFL football player Jonathan Dwyer, (Courtesy:

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer has been indicted on a felony charge of aggravated assault stemming from two July arguments with his wife.

The aggravated assault charge, a class 4 felony, was returned by a Maricopa County Grand Jury on Friday. Dwyer also was indicted on eight misdemeanors that included one assault charge.

The Cardinals deactivated Dwyer after he was arrested earlier this month in connection with the incidents, including one in which police say Dwyer head-butted his wife, Kayla Dwyer.

According to a court document, the first argument began the morning of July 21, when after a verbal argument with his wife at their Phoenix apartment, Dwyer allegedly tried to kiss his wife and remove her clothing.

She told him to stop several times, and “when he continued, she bit the defendant’s lip. He head-butted her in the face, which she later learned had caused a nasal bone fracture.”

A neighbor called police because of “the loud arguing,” and when they arrived, Dwyer’s wife told them that only she and her son were in the house, the document says. Dwyer acknowledged later that he was hiding in a bathroom at the time, according to police.

On July 22, there was another argument, and Dwyer punched his wife on the left side of her face, according to the court document.

“He also began punching the walls, causing visible damage. The defendant then picked up a shoe and threw it, striking their 17-month-old son in the stomach,” it says. The child was not injured. Dwyer was not indicted for hitting the child.

When his wife threatened to call police, Dwyer took her phone and threw it from their second-story residence, the document says. As his wife fled, witnesses heard her yell, “He f—ing hit me; I’m calling the police.” Witnesses also reported seeing “swelling and discoloration” on the left side of her face, according to police.

Neither the Arizona Cardinals nor Dwyer’s agent, Adisa Bakari, responded immediately to CNN’s request for comment. Because he was deactivated, Dwyer cannot play the rest of the NFL season.

Dwyer’s legal trouble comes as the NFL has been struggling with its public image over how it deals with domestic violence cases.

CNN’s Kevin Conlon and Drew Iden contributed to this report.

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