Prosecutor's Office taking over probe of Ray Rice case

Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were arrested early Saturday after an argument turned physical at the Revel Casino Hotel.
Ray Rice and Janay Palmer were arrested early Saturday after an argument turned physical at the Revel Casino Hotel. (PATRICK SEMANSKY / Associated Press)
Posted: February 21, 2014

The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office says it is taking over the investigation into a physical altercation between Baltimore Ravens star running back Ray Rice and his fiancee, Janay Palmer, in the Revel Casino Hotel that police records say left Palmer unconscious.

Rice and Palmer were both arrested early Saturday and charged with simple assault-domestic violence after police were called to the Boardwalk casino shortly before 3 a.m.

The website TMZ Sports posted security video Wednesday that showed Rice coming out of an elevator holding up a woman who appeared to be unconscious.

In the 51-second video, Rice drags the woman out of the elevator face first, goes back for her legs, then is approached by what appear to be casino personnel. In the meantime, the woman falls limp, face down, just outside the elevator door.

Rice and Palmer were scheduled to appear in Atlantic City Municipal Court on Tuesday morning on the assault charges, which are considered disorderly-persons charges.

But hours after the video surfaced, the prosecutor issued a statement that city police had requested that prosecutors review the case "to ensure all appropriate charges are considered."

A complaint summons issued by Officer Sam Coung in the assault case, first posted online by Baltimore TV stations, says Rice assaulted Palmer with his hand, "rendering her unconscious, at the Revel Casino."

Rice and Palmer were released after their arrest, and the initial police release said that each struck the other with a hand and that neither requested medical attention.

The Baltimore Sun reported that the NFL said it would look into the case, and a Ravens spokesman called the matter "serious" and said the team would seek more information. Rice attended Rutgers University and was a member of the Scarlet Knights football team.

It was unclear if the hearing would proceed as scheduled. Calls to Rice's Baltimore representatives were referred to his Philadelphia attorney, Michael Diamondstein, who did not return calls Wednesday.

The sports website Deadspin quoted witnesses saying Rice had hit Palmer with an "uppercut" after she spit on him. Several tweeters had spotted Rice in a club at the casino, where he is apparently a regular, tweeting back in May 2012 that "Hotel Revel is on point they really doing it big over there."


arosenberg@phillynews.com

609-823-0453

@amysrosenberg

www.inquirer.com/downashore

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