Shawne Merriman Arrested After Assaulting Tila Tequila

Authorities in San Diego say San Diego Chargers star linebacker Shawne Merriman has been arrested on suspicion of choking and restraining a MySpace vixen turned TV reality star as she tried to leave his Southern California home.

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San Diego County Sheriff’s Lt. Gary Steadman says Tila Tequila, 27, placed a distress call from a home in Poway, north of San Diego, early Sunday. Her boyfriend, Merriman, was later charged with battery and false imprisonment.

A lawyer for Merriman has denied all charges against his sportstar client, insisting he was simply truing to prevent an “extremely inebriated” Tequila from travelling home when he didn’t deem it safe for her to do so alone.

“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,” Todd Macaluso, Merriman’s attorney, said in a statement Sunday. “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.”

Tila was taken to a hospital followng the incident. She began dating Merriman in July, sparking a bitter feud with his former flame, hip-hop video vixen Gloria Velez. The petite minx, whose real name is Tila Nguyen, is best known for her MTV dating reality show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila.