San Jose

Ray McDonald Arrested on Domestic Violence, Child Endangerment Charges

Chicago Bears release defensive tackle following latest arrest

Former San Francisco 49ers defensive tackle Ray McDonald has been arrested on misdemeanor domestic violence and child endangerment charges, Santa Clara police said on Monday.

Hours later, 62 days after he signed with the Chicago Bears – who had given McDonald's career a second chance following his domestic violence arrest last year – the team announced his release. McDonald told reporters he had no comment as he left jail after being booked Monday afternoon and posting his $15,000 bail.

Lt. Kurt Clarke said that McDonald was arrested after officers said he "physically assaulted the victim while she was holding a baby." Police were called to a disturbance at 3:48 a.m. at an apartment in Santa Clara, only to find that McDonald had left to go to a friend's home in San Jose. A dispatch call revealed that a dispatcher relayed to officers that a woman had reported that she had locked herself in bedroom and he broken the door down.

But his civil attorney, Steve DeFilippis, told NBC Bay Area by email on Monday that "according to at least one witness, there was no physical contact between the two. Thus, is is hard to understand why charges are being pursued."

NBC Bay Area was the first to break the story.

According to sources, McDonald was arrested at the home of retired 49er Justin Smith in the Silver Creek neighborhood of San Jose. Neighbors said they saw police cars about 6 a.m. Monday.

Another source said that he rents an apartment in Santa Clara on Carlyle Court for his ex-fiancee and baby. The source said that on Sunday night, McDonald went out with friends and wanted to return to the apartment and asked her to leave. He left to give her some space, the source said, and when he returned, the police had been called.

It was not immediately clear if the woman or the baby were injured.

Reached by phone in Florida on Monday, McDonald's mother, LaBrina McDonald, told NBC Bay Area that she knew nothing about the arrest. "I'm not dealing with any more of this negative stuff," she said.

She did say that McDonald's baby, Amari, was born in March to his ex-fiance and that sometimes he visited his newborn son when he visited California.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney decided not to charge McDonald stemming from an Aug. 31, 2014 domestic-abuse arrest at his home, after a fight with this then-pregnant fiance.

The District Attorney also has not charged McDonald for a separate alleged sexual assault in San Jose on December 2014.

Still, after the second arrest, the 49ers dismissed him and he was signed by the Chicago Bears in December. After reports of Monday morning's arrest, the Bears decided to release McDonald, the team announced in a statement.

Bears chairman George McCaskey said last month that he signed McDonald for several reasons. "I would say that the strongest thing was his candor, his forthrightness and his motivation," McCaskey told NBC Chicago.

In the second case involving a woman at a bar, McDonald has sued for defamation.

In that civil case, DeFilippis filed paperwork May 21 in Santa Clara County Superior Court arguing that the woman who accused McDonald of sexual assault had consensual intercourse with McDonald on several occasions on the night and morning in question after drinking at the Willow Den bar.

In the latest round of documents, friends of the woman claim that she was known as a hard-core "party girl" who often staged accidents, which she posted on social  media.

Jenny Johnson, who was out with the woman and McDonald that night, testified in court documents that the woman's Instagram feed pictured her "fallen on the floor, appearing very drunk, or passed out laying on the ground" on several past occasions. "I thought she was faking," Johnson wrote in court documents.

McDonald's criminal attorney, Joshua Bentley, did not return requests for comment on Monday.

NBC Bay Area's  Ian Cull and Michelle Roberts and NBC Chicago contributed to this report.

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