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Football star Junior Seau won't face criminal charges

October 22, 2010 |  5:15 pm

Seau1 No criminal charges will be filed against football star Junior Seau for the incident that led to his arrest Sunday night on a domestic-violence complaint by his 25-year-old girlfriend, the San Diego County district attorney announced late Friday.

Prosecutors reviewed evidence submitted by Oceanside police.

"As with every case we review, we have an ethical duty to file charges only when we believe we can prove them beyond a reasonable doubt," Dist. Atty. Bonnie Dumanis said in a written statement.

On Sunday, Seau was arrested by Oceanside police and booked into the Vista jail. After making bail, Seau drove his Cadillac Escalade off a 150-foot cliff in Carlsbad onto the beach about 8:40 a.m.

The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Seau told Carlsbad police that he had fallen asleep at the wheel of the SUV.

Police said tire marks and witnesses validated that explanation. No drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident, police said. No charges are pending for the crash, which left the vehicle with major damage and Seau with cuts and bruises.

Seau, 41, was a star at Oceanside High School and then an All-American linebacker at  USC. He played for the San Diego Chargers from 1990 to 2002, the Miami Dolphins from 2003 to 2005 and the New England Patriots from 2006 to 2009.

He was a 12-time Pro-Bowl selection during his 13 seasons with the Chargers. He also became a fan favorite because of his flamboyant style on the field and his philanthropic ventures.

After driving off the cliff. Seau was taken to a La Jolla hospital, where he was released the next day. His family and friends, including his ex-wife, rallied to his side. The couple had three children.

Seau is the second football player to be arrested for allegedly mistreating a girlfriend only to have the San Diego County district attorney decline to prosecute.

In 2009, Chargers linebacker Shawne Merriman was arrested on suspicion of battery and false imprisonment after a complaint by reality television star Tila Tequila. After an investigation, the district attorney declined to take the case to trial.

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Junior Seau as a San Diego Charger.

Credit: National Football League