Former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien facing assault charges in Spokane

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Former Super Bowl hero Mark Rypien has been arrested in Washington state on suspicion of domestic violence.

The Spokesman-Review cites Spokane police saying Rypien was facing a charge of fourth-degree assault.

Rypien, 56, was processed at the Spokane County Jail at around 6:30 p.m. Sunday and was awaiting a court appearance Monday. It was not immediately known if he has an attorney.

Rypien announced last year he believes he has Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, caused by repeated concussions while playing in the NFL. He believes this condition has caused him to have erratic and violent behavior as well as depression.

He was a lead plaintiff among 4,500 former players who won a settlement related to CTE in 2013.

He was MVP of Super Bowl XXVI in 1991 for the Washington Redskins.

Rypien's family issued the following statement after his arrest:

In response to Mark being arrested for domestic violence, we want you to know that he did not commit any crime. As a family we are deeply concerned about the situation. Occurrences like this one are often chaotic scenes which are not conducive to revealing full clarity about what actually transpires.

In Washington State, officers are mandated by law to make an arrest in a possible domestic violence case even where there is very little proof that a crime occurred. We will continue to cooperate with authorities to ensure that the truth of Mark’s innocence comes out. We both respect law enforcement and we appreciate the officers’ efforts to protect Danielle yesterday. We’re grateful for their professionalism in treating Mark with respect during a challenging situation. At the same time, we are confident that a complete investigation will result in the dismissal of all charges.

As you may have learned from our public sharing last year, Mark suffers from what we suspect is CTE and that does leave us with some challenging situations to navigate with the assistance of a team of fantastic professionals. This, however, was not one such situation and we are confident that in the coming weeks, clarity about this unfortunate situation will be provided.

Thank you all for your kind messages, we appreciate you and we'll be in touch.

Mark & Danielle Rypien

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