Arizona Cardinals player pleads not guilty to domestic violence charges

Mon Oct 6, 2014 3:29pm EDT
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By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer pleaded not guilty on Monday to felony aggravated assault and eight misdemeanor charges stemming from accusations he assaulted his wife on two occasions, court officials said.

Dwyer, 25, was indicted last month for felony assault over allegations he broke his wife’s nose during an altercation on July 21 that police said began when he tried to kiss and undress her against her wishes. She bit his lip to free herself.

Dwyer is accused of punching her in the face the following day and throwing a shoe at their 18-month-old child at the couple's Phoenix apartment, court documents show. He is not charged with any offenses involving the child.

Dwyer made his plea during a brief arraignment in Maricopa County Superior Court.

The accusations put Dwyer, who was placed on the team’s reserve/non-football illness list, among a string of National Football League players to be involved in domestic violence cases that have brought criticism to the league and its commissioner in recent months.

Dwyer’s wife left Arizona shortly after the incidents and notified police on Sept. 11, according to court documents. The running back was arrested six days later at the team’s training facility and released on a $25,000 bond the next morning.

Dwyer also faces misdemeanor charges of assault, criminal damage, disorderly conduct and preventing the use of a telephone in an emergency.

Dwyer's attorney, Jared Allen, did not return messages left at his office.   Continued...

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters September 17, 2014. REUTERS/Maricopa County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters