SPOKANE, Wash. - "If you have to do something legal here, I'm going to have to say it was on me and I was sick." According to a police report, that's what Danielle Rypien told an officer who responded to reports that her husband, Mark, had hit her.
According to the police report, when Officer Todd Brownlee arrived at the scene near Maple Street and Garland Avenue on Sunday, June 30, Danielle was reportedly insistent, saying there was a charity involved and that Mark couldn't tell the officer anything.
Mark acknowledged to Officer Brownlee that he'd hit Danielle and she'd had the "wind knocked out of her." He told police it happened after he pushed her hands away from his face after she'd covered his eyes while he was driving.
Mark told her, "tell the truth," at which point, Danielle said, "You'll go to jail Mark, and you can't go to jail."
Another driver at the intersection also told police she didn't see what happened inside the Rypiens' car, but she'd seen Danielle get out of the car and fall to the street. When the witness asked Danielle if she needed help and wanted the police called, she said she did, according to the report.
Mark has also reportedly told the witness that he'd hit Danielle in the stomach.
When Danielle was interviewed, she refused to tell Officer Brownlee about what happened in the car. She said they'd been arguing, but couldn't remember what it was about, and blamed her stomach pain on sickness.
She denied putting her hands on Mark and said he'd never touched her. Officer Brownlee also noted that she didn't have any visible injuries or marks.
Mark's attorney, Chris Bugbee, told KHQ that he remains firmly committed to the belief that Mark didn't do anything wrong and is glad that the police report has been released.
"I've been speaking with prosecutors and I expect this case will go away. There's issues that Mark has openly discussed about his past and they'd like to know more about that just to make sure both Mark and his wife are safe. But we're working on getting this done," Bugbee said.
Mark has said he believes he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy, which is a degenerative brain disease caused by repeated trauma.
The couple said last year that his condition played a part in a previous domestic violence situation in November 2017. Danielle had been the only one arrested after that incident. They later said Mark had gotten angry and threw Danielle on a bed and blamed the outburst on a change in his CTE medication.
Danielle disclosed to The Spokesman-Review she'd covered for Mark with police in 2017 and the charge was eventually dropped.