BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Major developments in the Ray Rice investigation are unfolding. Prosecutors are now reviewing the case, including explosive video.
Mike Hellgren has more on the shocking images.
For Ray Rice’s fiancée, the summons says she struck him with her hand. For Rice, it says that he struck her so hard, it rendered her unconscious.
Prosecutors have canceled Rice’s court appearance next week while they review the evidence.
The TMZ Sports video (found at the bottom of this story) reportedly shows Ravens running back Ray Rice carrying his fiancée, Janay Palmer, out of the elevator. She appears unconscious, sprawled on the floor.
It’s one minute long and comes from the Revel Casino in Atlantic City Saturday morning.
It shows Rice grabbing her as she appears to get up.
The video does not show the actual fight, but WJZ obtained the summons, stating: “Rice struck her with his hand, rendering her unconscious.”
Mike Hellgren’s Story Without TMZ Video:
WJZ showed the video to law professor Byron Warnken, who says, if that’s true, it could be classified as a felony here in Maryland.
“He appears to be dragging an unconscious body out of the elevator. To me, that seems worse than things that we heard when it first started coming out,” Warnken said.
Rice has several attorneys, including Andrew Alperstein, in downtown Baltimore.
His Philadelphia-based attorney issued a statement, saying the video only shows the end of what happened and not the actual altercation.
He also cautioned against people rushing to judgment until they know all the facts.
As the attention has grown, the police have called in help.
“The domestic violence incident in Atlantic City involving Ray Rice has been referred to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office for review. The Atlantic City Police Department has requested the Prosecutor’s Office review the case to ensure all appropriate charges are considered. The matter remains under investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with the Atlantic City Police Department. At the present time, Mr. Rice remains charged with simple assault, a disorderly persons offense.”
The video surfaced just days after a Deadspin report quoted a witness saying Rice hit Palmer like he punched a guy.
Yet police say: “Both Ms. Palmer and Mr. Rice refused any medical attention as no injuries were reported by either party.”
“Whether you are Richard Nixon or Martha Stewart, you’re always better off… come clean up front,” Warnken said.
Police have not said whether anyone was drinking during the incident.
Ray Rice was scheduled to appear at a fundraiser Friday for the Maryland SPCA. He has been replaced.
In addition, the incident will be reviewed by the NFL under the league’s personal conduct policy.
According to WJZ’s media partner, The Baltimore Sun, a player does not have to be convicted of a crime to be punished under the NFL policy.
Rice has yet to address the incident publicly.
These charges come at a critical time in Rice’s career following a troubling season, leaving questions about his future with the Ravens.
“We have seen the video, this is a serious matter and we are currently gathering more information,” said Chad Steele, Ravens spokesman.
In 2012, Rice signed a $35 million, 5-year deal with the Ravens. He played at Rutgers University and was drafted in the second round of the 2008 draft by the Ravens.
Rice and his fiancée have been together for six years.
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