- The Washington Times - Monday, September 7, 2009

San Diego Chargers outside linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested Sunday and accused of choking and restraining his girlfriend, reality TV star Tila Tequila, as she tried to leave his suburban home.

Tequila, 27, signed a citizen’s arrest warrant, charging Merriman with battery and false imprisonment, San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Steadman said.

Deputies responded about 3:45 a.m. to Merriman’s house in Poway, north of San Diego, after a woman called to say she was choked by the player and thrown to the ground when she tried to leave, Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jan Caldwell said at a news conference.

Merriman’s attorney, Todd Macaluso, disputed Tequila’s story and said he’s confident Merriman won’t be charged by the District Attorney’s Office.

“There was absolutely no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Merriman,” Macaluso told the Associated Press by phone. “He essentially was doing what was appropriate under the circumstances in trying to protect the safety of Miss Tequila. There were numerous eyewitnesses that will support his version of the events that transpired at his home.”

Merriman, 25, was taken into custody and booked into the central jail at about 8:30 a.m. He was released shortly after 11 a.m. Caldwell said she didn’t know whether he posted bail or was released on his own recognizance.

Tequila was taken to a hospital. Her condition was not immediately available.

Caldwell said deputies determined Tequila had been drinking. She said she wasn’t sure about Merriman. Caldwell said there were other people at the house, but wasn’t sure if any of Merriman’s teammates were there.

Tequila, whose real name is Tila Nguyen, is best known for “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila,” which ran for two seasons on MTV. The bisexual dating show featured men and women vying for Tequila’s affections. She has also modeled for Playboy and other men’s magazines.

Scott E. Leemon, an attorney for Tequila, said in a statement that neither she nor her representatives would comment publicly on the incident.

Merriman was the 12th overall pick out of the University of Maryland in the 2005 draft and had 39 1/2 sacks in his first three seasons. The three-time Pro Bowl selection was getting back into shape after missing nearly all of last season following knee surgery.

“It’s disappointing to hear about the issue involving Shawne Merriman,” Chargers general manager A.J. Smith said in a statement. “We’ll continue to monitor the situation and let the legal process run its course.”

TAYLOR: Slain Redskins safety Sean Taylor was honored at his high school in Pinecrest, Fla.

Gulliver Preparatory School in the Miami suburb dedicated its football field to Taylor on Friday. He graduated from the school in 2001 and played on its football team.

Taylor died after being shot in an attempted robbery at his home in November 2007.

RAIDERS: Five-time Pro Bowl defensive lineman Richard Seymour was traded from New England to Oakland, giving the rebuilding franchise a veteran stalwart up front.

Seymour is in the final year of a contract paying him $3.7 million this season. In return, the Patriots received a first-round draft choice in 2011.

EAGLES: Philadelphia released veteran quarterback A.J. Feeley.

The move leaves Michael Vick as the team’s third quarterback behind Donovan McNabb and Kevin Kolb. Vick isn’t eligible to play until Week 3.

JETS: New York acquired quarterback Kevin O’Connell from Detroit for an undisclosed draft pick.

SEAHAWKS: Seattle signed safety Lawyer Milloy to a one-year contract, bringing the veteran back to the area where he grew up.

TEXANS: Starting cornerback Dunta Robinson ended his holdout, signing the one-year deal that the team had been offering all along.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide