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Merriman arrested in alleged assault

San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman (56), seen in a Dec. 19, 2007, photo after delivering a hit on Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10). (UPI Photo/Frederick Breedon IV)
San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman (56), seen in a Dec. 19, 2007, photo after delivering a hit on Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young (10). (UPI Photo/Frederick Breedon IV) | License Photo

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6 (UPI) -- San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested Sunday on battery and false imprisonment charges in an alleged attack on his girlfriend, police said.

The San Diego County Sheriff's Department said Merriman's girlfriend, former MTV reality show star Tila Tequila, alleged Merriman choked her, threw her to the ground and restrained her when she tried to leave his home around 3:45 a.m. Sunday, The San Diego-Union Tribune reported. Merriman, 25, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, was released about 11 a.m. Sunday, the newspaper said.

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"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."

Merriman, the 12th overall pick in the 2005 NFL Draft out of Maryland, missed all but the first game in 2008 with the Chargers because of knee surgery.

Tequila, 27, whose real name is Tila Nguyen, starred in "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila" on MTV. She was taken by ambulance to Pomerado Hospital in Poway, Calif.

Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Jan Caldwell said Tequila was "not seriously hurt," the newspaper said.

"Due to the serious nature of this matter, and out of respect for all domestic violence victims and defendants, Ms. Nguyen and her representatives will not be publicly addressing the facts and circumstances of the incident," a lawyer for Tequila said in a statement.

Merriman served a four-game suspension in 2006 after testing positive for steroids, the Union-Tribune said.

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