Mark Duper issues statement on arrest
Former Miami Dolphins wide receiver charged with child abuse
An attorney representing former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper, who was arrested this week on a child abuse charge, issued a statement Friday on behalf of his client.
"On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, there was a situation involving Mark Duper and his seventeen year old son, Marcus, in their home," read the statement. "Mark and his wife Carolyn called the police for assistance and reported what was happening as it was happening. Although the incident did not happen as reported, we will not debate these issues in the media. That debate, if and when necessary, will occur in a court of law. Mark Duper did not commit any act of child abuse. As a father, he is saddened to hear his son's allegations. Mark is devastated by them. We are confident everyone will understand what really happened once the truth is revealed."
Police arrested Duper, 54, Wednesday and charged him with child abuse. He bonded out of jail Thursday afternoon.
According to an arrest affidavit, the incident happened Tuesday in Jacksonville.
Duper got into an argument with his son when the boy refused to pick his hat up off the floor, police say.
Duper then punched the boy in the face and slammed him to the ground several times, causing him to lose consciousness, police say.
After 10 minutes of fighting, Duper told the boy to leave his house, according to the arrest affidavit. The boy began to leave but walked back inside the house to grab a jacket, and he and Duper again began fighting. Hugh Green, another former Dolphins player, separated the pair when he saw Duper punching the boy in a bedroom.
As the boy left the house, he pushed his bicycle into Duper's vehicle, police say. Duper saw him, punched him in the face, and began choking him while the boy was on the ground.
When Green separated the two again, Duper threatened to kill the boy, police say.
According to the arrest affidavit, the boy had a swollen and cut lip, multiple scratches on his elbow and ear, and a cut on his bicep.
Duper told police his actions were in self defense.
Green told WJXT-TV in Jacksonville that the teenager started the fight and the arrest report notes that Duper's assault was not "aggravated in nature." He said that the son became physical first.
The boy gave a different version of what happened.
"He punched me in the face and I fell on the ground. He then he got on top of me and I was like, holding him as close as I could to him, so hew wouldn't punch me again," the boy said. "So he picked me up with his body weight and he, liked slammed me right here like four times on his head. It knocked me out."
The Department of Children and Families is investigating.
Duper caught 59 touchdowns and was inducted into the Ring of Honor following an 11-year career with the Dolphins. He was a three-time Pro Bowl selection.