Thursday September 11th, 2014

From Jan. 1, 2012, to Sept. 17, 2014, 33 NFL players were arrested on charges involving domestic violence, battery, assault and murder. In the last two calendar years, at least 15 of those players were arrested for violence against women.

USA Today's NFL player arrests database was used as the starting point for research. has done statistical work on the relative rate of domestic violence among NFL players.

The team listed is the franchise the player was with when he was arrested. For all cases where resolutions could be found, those details are included.


Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer

On Sept. 17, Dwyer was reportedly arrested for domestic violence against his wife. It was reported that the fight was "from awhile ago." She reportedly saved the records of her injuries.

Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

On Sept. 13, Peterson was indicted on a felony charge of injury to a child for hitting his four-year old son with a tree branch as a method of discipline. Early Saturday morning, Peterson turned himself in. He was released after paying a $15,000 bail.

Peterson was deactivated by the Vikings before Sunday's loss to the New England Patriots. On Monday, the Vikings released a statement saying Peterson would practice this week and was expected to play Sunday against the New Orleans Saints. Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said Monday the organization felt Peterson was "disciplining a child" during the incident. 

Later in the day, Peterson released a statement, saying "I am, without a doubt, not a child abuser."

On Sept. 17, the Vikings put Peterson on the Commissioner's Exempt list. The Vikings also reiterated that Peterson would be away from the team until the legal process plays out. The trial will likely not take place until 2015.

St. Louis Rams linebacker Jo-Lonn Dunbar

Dunbar was arrested after getting into a fight with NBA free agent Donte Green on July 20. Both men initially faced charges of battery and disorderly conduct. Dunbar's charges were dropped less than a month later. He claimed he was "defending himself."

Dunbar was not punished by the NFL or the Rams, but Rams head coach Jeff Fisher said he wanted to "see (Dunbar) make better decisions and not be in those types of situations at that time of the year."

Philadelphia Eagles safety Keelan Johnson

Johnson was charged with assaulting a police officer, passively resisting arrest and disorderly conduct on July 21 after an altercation at an Arizona bar. 

Johnson was not suspended by the NFL, but the Eagles excused him from training camp "for an undetermined amount of time." He was released by the Eagles at the end of August, and is not currently on an NFL roster.

San Francisco 49ers defensive end Ray McDonald

McDonald was arrested on domestic violence charges on Aug. 31. The alleged victim was pregnant. McDonald said the day after the arrest that he is a "good-hearted person" and "the truth will come out."

McDonald played in the 49ers' season opener a week after the arrest. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league would wait until the legal process plays out, and 49ers CEO Jed York said the team would not punish McDonald until more evidence surfaced.

Denver Broncos safety T.J. Ward

Ward was accused of throwing a glass at a female bartender in a Denver-area nightclub on May 9. In August, the charges were dropped against Ward in exchange for four hours of community service. Ward has previously pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault. Ward must complete his four hours of community service by Oct. 31.

Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy

On May 13, Hardy was arrested for communicating threats and assault against his then-girlfriend. Hardy reportedly threw the woman into a bathroom, then dragged her into the bedroom, choked her, picked her up again, and threw her on a couch covered in firearms. He also reportedly threatened to shoot her if she told anyone about the fight.

Hardy was found guilty on both counts. Hardy was sentenced to 18 months of probation, but he appealed the verdict. A jury trial for the case has been scheduled for Nov. 17.

The Panthers said in July they would not discipline Hardy until the conclusion of the jury trial. At the end of August, Hardy said he has not heard from the NFL since he was convicted. Hardy played in the Panthers' season opener.

On Sept. 17, Hardy agreed to being placed on the Exempt/Commissioner's Permission list, and will take a leave of absence from the team.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Josh Morgan

Morgan was arrested on April 27 and charged with simple assault after punching a man outside of a nightclub in Washington, D.C.

If Morgan completes 32 hours of community service in the four months after his July 8 court date, the misdemeanor assault charge will be dropped.

Morgan played in the Bears' season opener. He has not been punished by the NFL.

Baltimore Ravens offensive lineman Jah Reid

Reid was arrested after getting into a fight at a Florida strip club on March 9, 2014. He was charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery.

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice

Rice was arrested on Feb. 15 after an altercation in an Atlantic City casino, where video shows Rice striking his then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer, and then dragging her out of the elevator while she was unconscious.

Initially, Rice was indicted on third-degree aggravated assault charges, but he pleaded not guilty and was sentenced to a pre-trial intervention program for first-time offenders.

Goodell and the NFL originally suspended Rice for two games, but after more video was obtained, Rice was released by the Ravens and suspended indefinitely by the NFL.

Cleveland Browns receiver Davone Bess

Bess was arrested for assaulting an officer on Jan. 17. He went into a Florida medical treatment facility shortly after the arrest. The day before his arrest, Bess tweeted a picture of what appeared to be marijuana.

Bess was cut by the Browns in March.


San Diego Chargers linebacker Thomas Keiser

Keiser was arrested for getting into a fight with a man outside a San Diego bar after a Chargers game on Dec. 29. Keiser was sentenced to probation and ordered to attend anger management classes.

Chicago Bears defensive tackle Henry Melton

Melton was arrested on Dec. 22 for becoming "combative" with a bar employee in Texas.

In May, the charges against Melton were dropped at the request of the bar owner.

Minnesota Vikings cornerback A.J. Jefferson

Jefferson was arrested on Nov. 25 on a felony count of domestic assault by strangulation. Hours later, he was released by the Vikings. In March, Jefferson pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. He spent three days in jail, and received one year of probation.

The NFL initially suspended Jefferson for four games on Nov. 29, but less than a month later, Goodell lifted the suspension.

Jefferson signed with Seattle in May.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez

Hernandez was charged with first-degree murder in connection to the death of Odin Lloyd, as well as multiple gun-related charges. Hernandez pleaded not guilty to all of the charges. He was denied bail.

The tight end was released by the Patriots.

In February, Hernandez allegedly attacked an inmate at the Bristol County Jail in Massachusetts.

In May, Hernandez was charged in the murders of Daniel Abreu and Safiro Furtado, who were shot outside a Boston nightclub on July 16, 2012.

Cleveland Browns linebacker Ausar Walcott

On June 25, Walcott was arrested after he allegedly punched a man in the head outside a New Jersey nightclub. Walcott was charged with first-degree attempted murder, second-degree aggravated assault and third degree endangering an injured victim.

Walcott was released by the Browns the next day.

On June 27, Walcott pleaded not guilty. In November, the charge was lessoned to aggravated assault instead of attempted murder.

Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam Jones

Jones was arrested for punching a woman outside a nightclub in Cincinnati on June 5. He was charged with misdemeanor assault, and pleaded not guilty in June. After a two-day trial in October, Jones was found not guilty of assault.

Arizona Cardinals linebacker Daryl Washington

On May 3, Washington was arrested for assaulting the mother of his child by grabbing her by the throat and pushing her to the ground. He initially pleaded guilty. Washington was sentenced to one year of supervised probation.

Washington was suspended for the entire 2014-15 season, but the suspension was for a violation of the Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse. 

Atlanta Falcons safety William Moore

Moore was arrested on April 18 for grabbing a woman by the shoulder and throwing her cell phone. He was charged with simple battery in Atlanta.

Detroit Lions safety Amari Spievey

Spievey was arrested on March 26 for putting his hand around the neck of his girlfriend and pushing her while he carried their daughter. Three months later, the assault charges were dropped.

Seattle Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill

On Jan. 29, Hill was arrested on charges of fourth-degree assault and unlawful imprisonment after a dispute with his girlfriend in Washington. The incident was the second time Hill was arrested for domestic violence in four years. In 2010, Hill was arrested, but the case was resolved without a conviction after Hill enrolled in a domestic violence treatment program.

The charges from the 2013 incident were dropped in May after the "King County Prosecutors Office decided the case against Hill was insufficient for a felony charge."

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Chris Rainey

Rainey was arrested for striking his girlfriend after a fight over a cell phone on Jan. 10. The running back was cut by the Steelers hours after his arrest.

In 2010, Rainey was kicked off the Florida football team after he was arrested after allegedly sending threatening texts to a woman. He later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor stalking charge.

On Tuesday, the Cardinals signed Rainey to their practice squad. Head coach Bruce Arians told Kent Somers on Wednesday that the team did its "due diligence" looking into Rainey's past.

"I know everybody in Pittsburgh and everybody in Indianapolis, two teams he's been (with)," Arians said.

Cincinnati Bengals safety Robert Sands

On Jan. 4, Sands was arrested for assaulting his wife at their home in Kentucky. His wife reportedly had to be treated at the hospital for minor injuries.

The Bengals waived Sands in June 2013.


Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher

Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend multiple times on Dec. 1. Afterwards, he drove to the team's facility and fatally shot himself in the head. 

Miami Dolphins safety Jonathon Amaya

On Nov. 26, Amaya was arrested for allegedly choking a cab driver outside of a Miami Beach club. On Jan. 23, 2013, the charges against Amaya were dropped.

New York Jets linebacker Bryan Thomas

Thomas was arrested on Oct. 31 for allegedly punching his wife in the stomach and pushing her with a kitchen chair.

The following February, Thomas was admitted to a pretrial intervention program for 24 months, which would allow the charges to be dropped upon program completion. 

In April 2013, Thomas was charged in another case of domestic violence, involving his wife.

Miami Dolphins receiver Chad Johnson

Johnson was arrested on August 11 for head-butting his wife over his purchase of a box of condoms. Johnson pleaded no contest and was sentenced to probation. 

Johnson was cut by the Dolphins the day after his arrest.

The following May, Johnson was arrested for violating his probation. He had failed to report to his parole officer on two separate occasions. Johnson was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

Detroit Lions cornerback Aaron Berry

Berry was arrested and charged with three counts of simple assault on July 21 after allegedly pointing a gun at three people in a Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, parking lot. The month before, Berry was arrested on suspicion of drunk driving.

The day after his second arrest, Berry was released by the Lions. Berry was suspended for three games by the NFL for violating the league's personal-conduct policy.

Dallas Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant

On July 16, Bryant was arrested on a misdemeanor domestic violence charge in Texas after he allegedly assaulted his mother.

A judge ruled the charges could be dropped as long as Bryant attended anger management counseling and was not charged with any other crimes for a year.

Bryant was not suspended by the NFL.

Denver Broncos defensive end Elvis Dumervil

Dumervil was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a firearm on July 14.

Less than a month later, the charges against Dumervil were dropped.

Minnesota Vikings running back Caleb King

On April 28, King was arrested on charges of third-degree assault after he allegedly put a man in the hospital with a skull fracture.

No charges were made against King, and he was released from jail three days later. King was released by the Vikings a few hours after he left jail.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Koa Misi

Misi was arrested on March 30 on a felony charge of battery that came from a 2011 incident when he punched a man in the eye in California.

Misi pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor and received three years of probation. Misi's punishment mandated that he attend 12 anger management sessions and complete 400 hours of community service. 

Cincinnati Bengals linebacker ​Rey Maualuga

On Feb. 5, 2012, Maualuga was arrested and charged with misdemeanor assault after allegedly hitting a bar employee in Cincinnati.

The charges were dismissed after a private mediation.

- Sarah Barshop

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