According to media reports, former Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mark Duper was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly punched a minor in the face repeatedly and tried to choke the boy. According to News 4 in Jacksonville, the boy was Duper’s 17-year old son, while other media reports, including Local 10 in Jacksonville state the boy was the son of Duper’s friend.
As News 4 reports, Duper and his son began arguing over the boy’s new girlfriend. Hugh Green, another former Dolphins player and a friend of the family who was present at the time, told Channel 4 that the boy started the fight and Duper’s battery of the minor was not “aggravated in nature.”
Meanwhile, the Local 10 report states it was actually a “friend’s children” who were playing video games with Duper. One of the children threw his hat on the floor, refusing to pick it up. Duper then, according to the report, began punching the boy in the face, and slammed him to the ground where he lost consciousness. The fight continued when the boy, who was told to leave Duper’s house, came back in to get a jacket.
Duper, as Local 10 writes, then began punching the boy in the face in a bedroom before the boy’s dad pulled Duper away. As he left the house, the boy pushed his bike into Duper’s car, which allegedly caused Duper to again begin beating the boy, attempting to choke him and threatening to kill him before the boy’s dad was once again able to pull Duper away.
Obviously, the two reports differ on the exact details, but was is known is, Duper was arrested by the Jacksonville Sherriff’s office, facing charges of child abuse, and was booked into the Duval County Jail. The Department of Children and Families is also investigating the incident.
Duper, now 54, spent 11 seasons in the NFL, all with Miami, from 1982-1992. He caught 511 passes over that span for 8,869 yards and 59 touchdowns. Duper was selected to three Pro Bowls during his career, and was inducted into the Dolphins’ Ring of Honor in December 2003.
More details will be shared as they become available.