New Footage Shows Suspended New Rochelle Native Attacking His Then-Fiancée


NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Many believed it was a matter of when — not if — someone would leak additional footage of the Ray Rice elevator incident.

They were right.

And now it has cost the star running back his job.

Early Monday, TMZ published what it said was video from inside the elevator at the shuttered Revel Casino in Atlantic City, where Rice was arrested on Feb. 15 for a domestic dispute involving his now-wife Janay.

The video shows Rice hitting Janay with a left cross, which knocks her head into the railing before she hits the floor. Rice then drags his apparently unconscious fiancée out of the elevator.

The Baltimore Ravens reacted swiftly Monday, releasing the three-time Pro Bowler. The NFL followed with a statement saying it had suspended Rice indefinitely.

Rice, who hails from New Rochelle in Westchester County and is a former star at Rutgers, was initially suspended two games for the incident, sparking outcry across the country. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the punishment as “consistent with other cases,” but later seemed to backtrack when announcing harsher penalties for domestic violence offenders.

“My disciplinary decision led the public to question our sincerity, our commitment, and whether we understood the toll that domestic violence inflicts on so many families. I take responsibility both for the decision and for ensuring that our actions in the future properly reflect our values,” Goodell wrote in a letter to league owners last month. “I didn’t get it right. Simply put, we have to do better. And we will.”

In the wake of the new video, Goodell faced a fresh round of criticism in the aftermath of the TMZ report. The only video made public prior to Monday was a view from the casino floor focused on the outside of the elevator door.

The NFL denied seeing the elevator video prior to Monday despite some reports to the contrary.

“We requested from law enforcement any and all information about the incident, including the video from inside the elevator,” league spokesman Greg Aiello said Monday morning. “That video was not made available to us and no one in our office has seen it until today.”

Though the team said it hadn’t seen the video either, Rice previously described to Ravens officials what happened in the elevator, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports.

As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported, the Ravens moved swiftly to terminate Rice’s contract.

“It’s something we saw for the first time today, all of us. It changed things, of course. It made things a little bit different,” Ravens Head Coach John Harbaugh said.

Meanwhile, Rutgers University confirmed to CBS 2 that it is removing Rice from all pregame videos shown at its sporting events. The university said the video is only for current NFL players.

As CBS 2’s Jessica Schneider reported for TV 10/55, Rice is the most accomplished players in modern Rutgers football history.

“Ray will always be a part of our family. The video I saw this morning is difficult to watch as a husband and as a father. There’s nothing that can justify what I saw on that video. This is a sad day for Ray and a sad day for Rutgers,” Rutgers Head Football Coach Kyle Flood said.

The elevator video was a hot topic on WFAN throughout Monday.

“It seems to me unconscionable that the NFL didn’t see this video,” co-host Joe Benigno said.

“It’s amazing that TMZ has more clout than the NFL. TMZ gets the video, but the NFL can’t see it. I don’t know what to believe with the league,” co-host Evan Roberts added.

“It is stomach-turning, is what it is,”  co-host Boomer Esiason said Monday morning.

Reaction started to come in from across the league.

“I don’t know Ray Rice, but I know that video is disturbing. It’s tough to see and it’s unacceptable. … It’s upsetting,” New Orleans Saints right tackle Zach Strief said.

Strief added, however, that he wasn’t sure if the NFL should have the right to punish Rice more because, “You’d compare that to double jeopardy.”

Rice, who at the time of his release was the Ravens’ second all-time leading rusher and the only player in franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in four consecutive season, entered into a pretrial intervention program in May. He apologized later that month alongside his wife in a widely panned press conference.

Criminal defense attorney Gerald Lefcourt told CBS 2’s Matt Kozar he was surprised prosecutors agreed to a deal with Rice, dropping assault charges if he completed the program.

A photo of Ray Rice is prominently shown in the center of a mural at Rutgers' Highpoint Solutions Stadium on Sept. 8, 2014. (credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880)

A photo of Ray Rice is prominently shown in the center of a mural at Rutgers’ Highpoint Solutions Stadium on Sept. 8, 2014. (credit: Tom Kaminski/WCBS 880)

“It’s shocking that he wasn’t charged. They don’t need the victim of a crime like that where they have a video of exactly how it occurred to be a witness,” Lefcourt said.

Prior to his release, Rice had been eligible to return for the Ravens’ Week 3 matchup at Cleveland. Goodell had said he was “reviewing” the case, according to the New York Daily News.

Late Monday evening, President’s Obama’s Press Secretary Josh Earnest issued the following statement:

“The President is the father of two daughters.  And like any American, he believes that domestic violence is contemptible and unacceptable in a civilized society.  Hitting a woman is not something a real man does, and that’s true whether or not an act of violence happens in the public eye, or, far too often, behind closed doors.  Stopping domestic violence is something that’s bigger than football – and all of us have a responsibility to put a stop to it.”

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