Dolphins legend Mark Duper charged with child abuse

Former wide receiver accused of punching, body slamming, choking teenage son

Published On: Mar 21 2013 11:24:07 AM EDT   Updated On: Mar 22 2013 10:18:41 AM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office arrested Miami Dolphins legend Mark "Super" Duper, who investigators say punched, body slammed, and choked his son, knocking him unconscious.

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, who WJXT-TV in Jacksonville reports is 17 years old, 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 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.