2 High-Profile NFL Players Arrested for DV—both Cases Are Questionable

Tila Tequila, alleged DV victim
Two NFL players were arrested for domestic violence over the holiday weekend, and each arrest is questionable. From USA Today‘s Shawne Merriman practices, says he didn’t harm TV star (9/7/09):

San Diego Chargers star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman said he did not harm reality TV star Tila Tequila at his home early Sunday and added he was concerned for her safety because she appeared to be intoxicated.
Merriman was arrested and accused of choking and throwing Tequila to the ground as she tried to leave his home in suburban Poway. Tequila signed a citizen’s arrest warrant charging Merriman with battery and false imprisonment. Both are felonies… Merriman practiced Monday, then said he’s convinced he’ll be cleared… Tequila, whose real name is Tila Nguyen, is best known for “A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila,” which ran for two seasons on MTV. The bisexual dating show featured men and women vying for Tequila’s affections. She has also modeled for Playboy and other men’s magazines. Merriman said he was limited in what he could say. He kept referring to a statement issued through his attorney Sunday night. “At the time, I was concerned about her welfare given the intoxicated state she appeared to be in and I encouraged her to stay until safe transportation could be provided,” Merriman said in the statement. “We would all do our best to help a friend if we considered their actions to be detrimental to their personal safety.

San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman, alleged DV perpetrator
“I in no way caused any harm to Ms. Nguyen, however, paramedics were called and she was examined but no injuries were reported,” the statement continued… Also Monday, the owner of a downtown club where Merriman and Tequila attended a party Saturday night said his staff told him Tequila had been drinking and it appeared Merriman had ordered only bottled water. “I feel sorry for the guy and I think the truth needs to be told,” said James Brennan, who owns Stingaree, one of the city’s top hangouts for celebrities. Brennan said he normally wouldn’t comment, but felt he should after seeing Tequila’s tweet in which she said she’s allergic to alcohol. “It sounds like she’s allergic to the truth,” Brennan told The Associated Press… “She wasn’t like falling down or anything of that nature, but she was visibly intoxicated,” Brennan said. In a tweet Sunday, Tequila said: “I am allergic to alcohol. It has been publicly known for years. That is how I got the name Tila “Tequila” cuz the irony. I can’t drink.” Merriman said he met Monday morning with team president Dean Spanos and coach Norv Turner. “They’re just all supportive, hopefully that we can move on from the situation as soon as possible,” Merriman said.

The fact that Tila Tequila is lying about not being drunk that night and lying that she doesn’t drink doesn’t mean that she’s lying about Merriman attacking her, but it certainly weakens her credibility. The fact that she apparently suffered no injuries from allegedly being attacked by an NFL linebacker also weakens her credibility. The San Diego Chargers seem to be taking a moderate, “let’s wait and see the evidence” approach, which seems very appropriate here. The arrest of Denver Broncos rookie Richard Quinn is also questionable. According to KUSATV/Associated Press:

Denver Broncos rookie Richard Quinn, alleged DV perpetrator
A rookie for the Denver Broncos was booked into jail on Monday afternoon on harassment and domestic violence charges. Richard Quinn is being held without bond until he can see the judge on Tuesday. The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Department said Quinn was arrested early Monday afternoon after a woman called 911. The woman told deputies that her live-in boyfriend, Quinn, grabbed and shook her to the ground during an argument and grabbed the phone from her while she was trying to dial 911. The 22-year-old woman told deputies that Quinn also grabbed her cell phone. She says she ran to another house to call police. Deputies say Quinn told them he grabbed the woman only after she started hitting him in the face, but had no visible marks on his face. “This is a very unfortunate personal situation, but I’m extremely proud of the way Richard handled it,” Peter Schaffer, Quinn’s lawyer and agent, told The Associated Press on Monday night. “Richard defused what could have been an explosive situation given that their 1-year-old was in the apartment.” Schaffer said his client never struck his girlfriend, whom he said was distraught and “out of control.” He said Quinn “went and locked himself and their 1-year-old daughter in the bedroom to get away from her.” “He never attacked her, never hit her,” Schaffer said. “He did everything he and every other NFL rookie is taught in their symposiums. He never laid a hand on her or physically abused her or anything like that.” Schaffer didn’t describe how the confrontation escalated, however. “When all the facts come out, people will see that Richard did nothing legally wrong,” Schaffer said. “His No. 1 concern right now is for the welfare of his daughter and to make sure there’s no negative light put on the Denver Broncos organization or his family.”

Quinn’s story is plausible but he doesn’t seem have any evidence to back it, though his girlfriend doesn’t seem to have any, either.

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