NFL Standout Merriman Denies Choking Reality TV Star

Star outside linebacker Shawne Merriman is practicing with the San Diego Chargers just more than 24 hours after being released from jail.

Merriman was arrested early Sunday and accused of choking and restraining reality TV star Tila Tequila as she tried to leave his suburban home. He spent about 2 1/2 hours in the downtown jail.

Merriman says the allegations are false.

Merriman said in a statement late Sunday that he was worried for Tequila's safety because she appeared to be intoxicated and he didn't want her to drive. Tequila signed a citizen's arrest warrant.

He also says paramedics who were called to his home in Poway, north of San Diego, reported no injuries to Tequila, best known for "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila," which ran for two seasons on MTV.

San Diego County Sheriff's Lt. Gary Steadman says Merriman was arrested early Sunday when the 27-year-old Tequila signed a citizen's arrest warrant charging him with battery and false imprisonment. Both are felonies.