NFL star Junior Seau drives car off cliff after arrest for domestic violence

4:48 PM, Oct 18, 2010   |    comments
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  • Junior Seau's SUV is placed on a tow truck after the vehicle drove off a cliff, hospitalizing Seau.
  • Junior Seau

CARLSBAD, Calif. -- NFL football player Junior Seau was arrested early Monday on suspicion of domestic violence, then drove his Cadillac SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad after being released from jail, authorities said.

Emergency crews responding to a 911 call received at 8:42 a.m. found Seau, 41, on the beach below Carlsbad Boulevard and Solamar Avenue, according to Carlsbad police Lt. Paul Mendes.

Photo Gallery: Pictures from the accident scene

Seau, the sole occupant of the white 2004 SUV, was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital for treatment of apparently minor injuries.

Earlier in the morning, Seau was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence. Seau's 25-year-old, live-in girlfriend told authorities that Seau assaulted her during an argument at his Oceanside home, according to Oceanside police. She appeared to have minor injuries and did not require medical treatment.

He was taken into custody, and the San Diego County Sheriff's Department confirmed Seau was released at about 3:20 a.m.

"At this point we think he's fine, but we really don't have any comment," said Richard Doan, who answered the cell phone of Bette Hoffman, who works for Seau's foundation. "There are no injuries but he seems to be a little shaken up."

Details of the arrest, which was first reported by, were not immediately available.

Sometime after his release, Seau drove his vehicle off a cliff in Carlsbad. A witness told our sister station CBS News 8 that he was seen driving about 70 miles per hour and made no attempt to brake or slow down.

The cause of Seau's solo traffic crash was unclear, though police said there was no evidence that he was intoxicated at the time and apparently was not in a suicidal state of mind.

The 12-time Pro Bowl player, who established Seau's Restaurant in Mission Valley 14 years ago and subsequently opened another eatery in Temecula, was a standout athlete at the University of Southern California.

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.

Seau has not officially retired from professional football, though early this year he announced his intention to do so in the near future.

CBS NEWS and The Associated Press

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