Bruce Miller, the fullback for San Francisco 49ers football team, has been charged with vandalism after the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office on Monday announced the findings of its investigation into a domestic case involving Miller and his girlfriend. His girlfriend, whose name has not been revealed, had accused him of misdemeanor after a heated argument ensued between the two where Miller destroyed her phone and allegedly pushed her from the car.
Miller, who was arrested on March 5 on suspicion of misdemeanor, pleaded not guilty to the charges at the Santa Clara County Superior Court on Monday. His girlfriend had reportedly declined medical attention at the time and did not sustain any injuries.
The incident took place at a parking lot of the Rivermark Hyatt House in Santa Clara, SFGate, an online news website reported.
The district attorney said, according to the Associated Press (AP), that ''while original reports indicated that Miller may have pushed his girlfriend from his parked car, an investigation into the alleged assault was inconclusive.''
Miller, who had received a three-year contract extension last year, has been away from his team during the offseason workout program at 49ers headquarters in Santa Clara. He is reportedly engaged to be married, and if convicted, he may face a jail term of up to a year.
''The 49ers organization is aware of today's developments involving Bruce Miller and will continue to monitor these legal proceedings closely,'' Trent Baalke, general manager of the team, said in a statement, according to the AP.
“We sat down with Bruce and feel it’s very important for him to handle this situation,” Baalke said, according to SFGate, adding: “Once it’s handled, we’ll move on from there.”
An eyewitness, who was at a nearby bagel shop at the time of the incident, reportedly said she saw Miller and the woman arguing as they left the garage. She said she saw Miller throw the woman’s phone against a wall during the argument. The witness later allowed the woman to use her cellphone to call the police, KRON4, a local news network, reported. While Miller’s girlfriend initially told the police that he pushed her out of the car, in a later interview, she reportedly said there was no physical contact between the two during the incident.
"Technically this is a domestic abuse case in that the property Mr. Miller damaged belongs to somebody with whom he had an intimate relationship, as such it's domestic violence," Jim Demertzis, supervising deputy district attorney, said, according to ABC News7. Miller is reportedly out on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to appear in court again on May 26.
Since 2012, seven players from the 49ers, including Miller, have accounted for 11 arrests, SFGate reported.