Junior Seau Says He Fell Asleep in Drive Off Cliff After Abuse Charge

Former NFL linebacker leaves jail in abuse case, drives SUV over 30-foot cliff.

ByRussell Goldman and Michael S. James
October 18, 2010, 3:09 PM

Oct. 18, 2010— -- Former NFL linebacker Junior Seau drove his car off cliff near a Carlsbad, Calif., beach early this morning just hours after being released from jail following a domestic violence arrest.

Seau, 41, told police he drove off the cliff because he fell asleep behind the wheel, and police saw no evidence alcohol or drugs were involved, Carlsbad Police Lt. Bruce May said.

"Right now, we don't have anything ... to dispute what he told us," May said. "So we're investigating the collision and proceeding as if he just did fall asleep while driving."

The former New England Patriots player was the only person in the Cadillac SUV, and was conscious and in a hospital recovering from minor injuries, police said.

Seau was arrested on a charge of felony spousal assault with injury after a dispute with his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend, according to the Oceanside Police Department.

"The victim sustained minor injuries that did not require medical attention," police said in another written statement.

May said police did not know of any connection between the accident and Seau's arrest earlier in the day. He said as of this evening, no charges or citations had been issued in connection with the traffic accident.

Alleged Abuse Victim's Mom: 'My Heart Is Broken

The alleged victim in the spousal assault case has not yet been identified by police. ABC News has confirmed the woman's name, but is withholding it.

The woman's stepmother told ABC News that she was upset about the alleged abuse of her stepdaughter.

"My heart is broken," she said. "We are all praying. We just hope [she's] safe."

Seau was arrested just after midnight today after his girlfriend called police following a dispute. Cops arrived at Seau's home, but he had fled. They called Seau's cell phone and he turned himself in, according to the police report.

The former star linebacker was booked at Vista Detention Facility and released around 3:30 a.m. after he posted bail. Five hours later, he drove his car off 30 foot cliff overlooking a beach.

Seau is a 12-time Pro Bowler who played for the Chargers, Dolphins and Patriots. He ended his career last year with New England.

Calls made to Seau's foundation were not returned.

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