San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested last night after allegedly roughing up his girlfriend, noted internet person Tila Tequlia. Way to start the season strong, buddy.
Merriman, who missed all but one game last season with knee problems, was arrested in front of his own home about 3:45 a.m. this morning after Tequila (sigh) accused him of choking her and restraining her when she tried to leave the house. She went to the hospital, he went to jail. Both have apparently been released.
The possibly roid-raged linebacker recently expressed admiration for Oregon's LeGarrette Blount and his sucker punching ways, stating "I want to punch a bunch of guys but i would never risk getting suspended and fined i love my $." Apparently, Merriman has not read the NFL's collective bargaining agreement, because the strictures against guy punching also include women. If you think drunk driving, shooting yourself in the leg, and dog murder are frowned upon, I'm sure Roger Goodell has been itching to take a very strong stand against domestic violence. Maybe Shawne is trying to see just how many games he can miss and still make the Pro Bowl.
Because Tequila and Merriman are both lunatics who are obsessed with Twitter, you can probably find more updates there in the near future. (Update: He posted a link to his statement, hers has been set to private.)
Chargers Star Accused of Choking Tila "Tequila" [NBC San Diego]
Chargers' Merriman arrested; battery of girlfriend alleged [San Diego Union-Tribune]
Shawne Merriman Popped For Choking Tila Tequila [Brooks]
NFL Star Accused of Choking Tila Tequila [TMZ]
UPDATE: TMZ has some crappy photos of them taken at a bar earlier in the evening. So that proves they know each other!
UPDATE 2: Merriman released a statement late on Sunday night, denying the accusations and pointing out that he has not been charged with a crime. The gist of his statement is that she was drunk, he was trying to keep her from leaving until a cab could pick her up, he did not actually choke or hurt her, and he was only arrested because of her "citizen's complaint." The implication of last point being that cops would not have arrested him, if she hadn't insisted. We'll see how the criminal case develops (if it does at all), but Merriman will likely play in Week 1 either way.