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Shawne Merriman says he did not hurt Tila Tequila

September 7, 2009 |  9:15 am

San Diego Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman says he did not hurt Tila Nguyen and was only trying to restrain her from leaving his home while she was drunk.

In a statement, Merriman said, "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."

Instead, Nguyen, known professionally as Tila Tequila, made a 911 call to the San Diego County Sheriff's Department.

When deputies arrived at Merriman's Poway home at 3:45 am. Sunday, Nguyen signed a citizen's arrest form alleging that Merriman choked and restrained her.

The 25-year-old linebacker was booked into county jail in downtown San Diego and made bail several hours later. Nguyen, 27, was taken to a hospital where she was examined and released.

"We would all do our best to help a friend if we considered their actions to be detrimental to their personal safety," Merriman said in his statement. "I in no way caused any harm to Ms. Nguyen."

The football player and the model-singer-reality TV performer had been at a  nightclub in downtown San Diego before going to Merriman's home with several friends, authorities said.

Nguyen lives in Los Angeles but was in San Diego to attend Friday's NFL exhibition game between the Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers.

Merriman praised the sheriff's deputies and said, "I look forward to clearing my name regarding these false allegations. I want to put this behind me so I can continue to focus on a successful season."

Nguyen, through her attorney, has declined comment on the incident.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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