A former NFL great was arrested Wednesday on a charge of child abuse after an argument with his teen son turned violent at his Jacksonville home.
But a longtime friend and former teammate said he witnessed all of it and said Mark Duper was just defending himself against a 17-year-old son who had an attitude problem.
Duper, who played wide receiver for the Miami Dolphins from 1982 to 1992, was released on $5,000 bail Thursday, according to jail records.
The arrest report details a Tuesday night fight at Duper’s Hillsdale Road home between the 54-year-old and the boy. But while the police report said Duper threw punches and attacked his son three times that night, Hugh Green, 53, said his friend was just trying to defend himself.
“Mark had scratched-up knees and cuts and all kind of stuff. There were no punches passed. It was more wrestling as Mark defended himself,” said Green, who was visiting at the time. “... What is happening to Mark shouldn’t be happening. He was a father trying to defend himself from a son who thinks he can beat him.”