Within days of the NFL announcing heavier penalties for off-field transgressions and handing Aldon Smith a nine-game suspension, another 49ers player found himself in trouble Sunday.
Defensive end Ray McDonald was arrested on suspicion of felony domestic violence early Sunday morning in San Jose.
San Jose Police said in a statement that police were notified about an alleged domestic violence incident shortly before 3 a.m. in the 2500 block of Bentley Ridge Drive.
Officers responded, and an investigation found that "the domestic violence allegation was substantiated," police said.
McDonald, 29, was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Jail on felony domestic violence charges, police said in their statement.
He was released on bail later in the day. Police said they would complete their investigation and turn the results over to the Santa Clara County District Attorney's office but would not provide any further details.
McDonald is scheduled to appear in court Sept. 15, according to CSNBayarea.com.
While he walked out of jail and hailed a cab, McDonald told KTVU Channel 2: "I can't say too much about it right now. The truth will come out.
"Everybody knows what kind of person I am. I'm a good-hearted person."
The Sacramento Bee reported that the incident occurred at McDonald's home, where McDonald and his fiancee were celebrating McDonald's upcoming birthday. At some point, McDonald and his fiancee got into an altercation, which resulted in her sustaining bruises on her neck and arms. The Bee cited a police source as saying McDonald's fiancee is 10 weeks pregnant.
According to the Bee report, tight end Vernon Davis and defensive end Demarcus Dobbs were among 49ers who attended the party.
McDonald will be the first player subject to the NFL's strict new policy for players accused of domestic violence, which commissioner Roger Goodell announced Thursday. If McDonald is determined to be a first-time offender, he faces at least a six-game suspension. Second-time offenders of the new policy could be banned from the league for life.
Players whose incidents involve a pregnant woman will face longer suspensions, the league announced. Other incidents that trigger longer suspensions are those involving weapons, choking or repeated striking.
In a statement, 49ers general manager Trent Baalke said: "The 49ers organization is aware of the recent reports regarding Ray McDonald and we take such matters seriously. As we continue to gather the facts, we will reserve further comment."
Coach Jim Harbaugh was not available for comment Sunday; the team had a scheduled day off.
However, in 2012, a 49ers player said Harbaugh made clear his stance on domestic violence.
"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 strong safety Donte Whitner said at the time. "If you put your hand on a woman, then you're done in his book."
McDonald is the second 49ers defensive starter in three days to face discipline from the NFL. Smith, a Pro Bowl outside linebacker, was suspended for nine games Friday for violating the league's substance-abuse and personal-conduct policies.
McDonald has been an important part of the 49ers defense, starting 45 of the last 48 regular-season games. A third-round draft pick in 2007, he signed a five-year, $20 million contract extension in 2011.
In 2012, McDonald was arrested in Sunnyvale for an outstanding warrant, stemming from his 2010 arrest for suspicion of driving under the influence in San Mateo County.
The 49ers already are down three defensive starters with Smith joined on the sidelines by linebacker NaVorro Bowman and tackle Glenn Dorsey. Bowman is expected to miss the first half of season as he recovers from knee surgery. Dorsey has a torn biceps.
Quinton Dial and Tank Carradine are the primary backups to McDonald.
Staff writer Cam Inman contributed to this report.
Kawakami: York has allowed Baalke and Harbaugh to create a bandit atmosphere.