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  • Paul Kitagaki Jr. /

    Ray McDonald (No. 91, right), teaming with Justin Smith (94) to tackled Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck during a 2013 game, has been arrested for domestic violence.

  • San Jose Police Department / Associated Press

    San Francisco 49er defensive end Ray McDonald is seen in an undated photo provided by the San Jose Police Department. McDonald, 29, was arrested early Sunday, Aug. 31, 2014, by San Jose Police on felony domestic violence charges. San Jose police Sgt. Heather Randol says McDonald was taken into custody after officers responded to a home in an upscale neighborhood.

49ers’ Ray McDonald arrested on suspicion of felony domestic abuse

Published: Monday, Sep. 1, 2014 - 12:00 am
Last Modified: Wednesday, Sep. 3, 2014 - 9:16 pm

Defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic abuse Sunday morning in San Jose, bringing more scrutiny to a 49ers team that spent the offseason tangled in legal matters.

Police arrived at 2:48 a.m. at McDonald’s home, where a birthday party was being held. He turns 30 Tuesday.

McDonald apparently was involved in an altercation with his fiancee, who a police source said is 10 weeks pregnant. When she showed police minor bruises on her neck and arms, McDonald was arrested without incident.

McDonald was booked at 5:30 a.m. in Santa Clara County jail for “inflicting injury on a spouse or cohabitant,” according to the Santa Clara County Department of Corrections. Bail was set at $25,000, and McDonald was released at 11:30 a.m.

Other 49ers, including tight end Vernon Davis and defensive end Demarcus Dobbs, attended the party.

“The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports regarding Ray McDonald, and we take such matters seriously,” general manager Trent Baalke said in a statement. “As we continue to gather the facts, we will reserve further comment.”

McDonald was arrested on suspicion of DUI in Santa Clara County in 2010.

Last week, in the wake of uproar over Ravens running back Ray Rice’s suspension, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell instituted harsher penalties for league employees involved in assault, battery, domestic violence or sexual assault. First-time offenders will receive a six-game suspension. A second offense results in a lifetime ban.

Rice was given a two-game suspension after hitting his then-fiancee in February. Surveillance cameras showed Rice dragging her out of a casino elevator, apparently unconscious, after the incident.

San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh has told his players that domestic violence would not be tolerated on his team.

“He said that we can do anything in the world and we can come and talk to him and he’ll forgive us, except put our hands on women,” former 49ers safety Donte Whitner said in 2012. “If you put your hand on a woman, then you’re done in his book.”

McDonald’s arrest marks the ninth time a 49ers player has been arrested since Aldon Smith was pulled over for DUI in Miami Beach in January 2012. That includes a March hit-and-run incident involving cornerback Chris Culliver and Smith’s April arrest at Los Angeles International Airport. No charges were filed in the LAX incident.

Smith, who has been arrested three times since he was drafted in 2011, was suspended for nine games by the league on Friday.

Along with fellow defensive end Justin Smith and linebacker Patrick Willis, McDonald has been one of the veteran leaders on defense since he became a starter in 2011. He’s started all but three games in that span and last season played through a biceps tear.

His main backups this year are Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine.

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Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.

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