It certainly looks like trouble manages to shadow San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman at every turn – or so it seems. Sunday found Merriman under arrest and accused of choking and restraining his girlfriend, reality TV star Tila Tequila, as she tried to leave his home.
Tequila subsequently signed a citizens arrest warrant, which charged Merriman with battery and false imprisonment, according to San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Steadman.
According to SDCS spokesman Jan Caldwell, deputies responded to a call from Merriman’s house after a woman called to say that she was choked by a player and thrown to the ground when she attempted to leave. As expected, Merriman’s attorney, Todd Macaluso disputed Tequila’s side of events, stating:
“There was absolutely no wrongdoing on the part of Mr. Merriman. 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 was subsequently taken into custody and and booked into the central jail at about 8:30 AM local time and released shortly after 11:00 AM; Caldwell said she did not know whether Merriman posted bail or was released on his own recognizance.
It should be interesting, to say the least, as to how Chargers general manager A.J. Smith handles this latest episode. Smith talks a good game in reference to having players with good “character”, yet all you have to do is go back to when former team linebacker Steve Foley was arrested and shot by local deputies recently; then there is the other Merriman incident which involved illegal substances.
Of course, Smith said all the right things; you know, the “We are aware of the situation and we will let the legal system run its course….blah blah blah” type of rhetoric. In any case, I’m sure there’s more to this than meets the eye, so stay tuned to NFL Gridiron gab for any future developments on the Merriman situation.