The Sacramento Bee is reporting McDonald is currently being held at Santa Clara County jail and that the police report's address where McDonald was arrested belongs to recently retired 49ers defensive star Justin Smith.
The incident is the third in eight months in which McDonald has been accused of criminal violence. The first, in August, involved alleged domestic abuse at his home against his pregnant fiancee. In November, the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office announced it had insufficient evidence to charge McDonald over that incident, citing a lack of cooperation from the alleged victim as well as a lack of other witnesses.
Before that case was dropped, the 49ers came under intense criticism for playing McDonald while the investigation was underway, especially considering a spate of high-profile, alleged criminal activity by NFL players, including a very ugly incident in which Ray Rice knocked out his fiancee in an elevator with a punch. Then-49ers coach Jim Harbaugh repeatedly defended the decision to play McDonald by saying "due process" had to be respected.
But when McDonald was arrested last December on suspicion of sexual assault, the 49ers decided they'd had enough, releasing him almost immediately after authorities announced an investigation. In that case, a woman claimed McDonald had sexually assaulted her after she fell and hit her head at his home. McDonald has claimed the sex was consensual. He has yet to be charged in the case, and he said in March that he will sue the alleged victim for falsely accusing him.
NBC Bay Area contacted McDonald's mother today in an attempt to learn more about her son's latest problems:
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 in Silicon Valley. She believed the apartment is in Santa Clara.
Playing for the Bears
McDonald was signed in the off-season by the Chicago Bears. Team owner George McCaskey said in March that he initially resisted his general manager's suggestion that the Bears sign McDonald, but that he had changed his mind after talking to the maligned defensive end. From NBC Sports:
“Ryan had asked me for permission to pursue him, and we had a file on him with the information that we had gathered,” McCaskey said. “I looked at the file and came back and said no. So Ryan said, ‘Fine, we’ll move onto the next guy.’ And then Ray . . . asked if I would be willing to meet with him and I said yes. The fact that he proposed that idea, I gave him a lot of credit for. He was very candid, very forthright. It was a difficult conversation. It was long. It took a lot out of me and I think it took a lot out of him. After that conversation, I told Ryan that he had our permission.”
So what did McDonald say to McCaskey to change his mind?
“He talked about these incidents which have become public knowledge and walked me through each one,” McCaskey said. “I don’t want to get too much into the particulars. I just want to give you a sense of the conversation. I was impressed with how sincere he was and how he motivated he is. He understands I think that he could have well been facing the end of his football career, and he loves football and he wants that career to continue. So I was impressed with his motivation.”
Criticism of that decision in light of today's events has already begun.
About a month ago, McDonald spoke publicly about past accusations against him. The Chicago Tribune reported McDonald had this to say:
“When you can look on TV and see all this negative stuff said about somebody and people can put stuff out there that’s not very credible, and it can assassinate someone’s character by doing that. But when you actually get a chance to meet someone and hear their side of the story, you get to get it for what it really is. ...
“I learned a lot from my previous situations, to keep my circle tight. You can’t trust everybody because everybody doesn’t have your best interests at heart. I learned that and I’m just here now to play ball and try to help this team win.
"I just surround myself with people who care about me and have my best interest at heart. When you do that it’s hard for you to go wrong. That’s what I’ve been focusing on.”
No word yet on how the Bears might respond to the arrest. But the implication of this Tweet by Jay Glazer of FOX sports is that McDonald could very well be in big trouble with his new team: