Playmate of the Year on Trial for Assault

A Playboy Playmate accused of grabbing a dance pole and karate-kicking the ex-girlfriend of NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia (search) went on trial Tuesday on a misdemeanor assault charge.

Carmella DeCesare (search), who is dating the Cleveland Browns player, faces a misdemeanor assault charge in the Aug. 21 barroom fight with Kristen Hine (search).

According to testimony, Garcia dated Hine, 32, four or five times but later dropped her for DeCesare, 22. Nasty phone calls and threatening voice mails followed and culminated in a confrontation last Aug. 21 at the Tramp nightclub.

Name-calling ensued, and a friend of Hine's dumped a drink on DeCesare. Each woman had to be restrained and when Hine tried to walk away, DeCesare allegedly grabbed a dance pole and kicked Hine in the head, snapping her head back.

Garcia testified Tuesday that Hine approached him and tried to talk to him, and that DeCesare kicked someone other than Hine in defense of herself.

The judge is hearing the case without a jury. Misdemeanors carry a maximum one-year jail term.