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SD Charger Accused of Beating Tila Tequila


San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested Sunday on charges that he choked and attacked his girlfriend, bisexual reality TV star Tila "Tequila" Nguyen, as she tried to leave his home.

According to San Diego's NBC affiliate, Tequila called 911 and claimed that Merriman had choked her and thrown her to the floor just before 4 a.m. on Sunday morning at his suburban San Diego home.

Tequila signed a citizen's arrest warrant, charging the linebacker with battery and false imprisonment, according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department spokesman Lt. Gary Steadman.

Merriman was released from custody at 11 a.m. that morning, at which point his lawyer made a brief statement to the press.

"During the evening Ms. Tequila was extremely intoxicated, inebriated, and Mr. Merriman did everything he could to assist her in arranging for transportation to leave his home," Merriman's attorney Todd Macaluso said. "At no time did Mr. Merriman assault her; at no time did Mr. Merriman keep her against her will. His intentions were nothing but good."

Tequila requested ambulance transport to a nearby hospital. She has since been released.

The reality show star is best known for her MTV dating show, on which men and women vied for her affections. In recent months she credited herself with bringing the issue of marriage equality to national attention.
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