Panthers' Beason arrested on misdemeanor assault charge

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina PanthersPro Bowl middle linebacker Jon Beason was arrested Monday and charged with punching a man at a strip club.

Beason was booked on a misdemeanor assault charge Monday afternoon -- while his teammates were watching film of their loss to the New York Jets a day earlier -- and released on a written promise to appear in court.

2009 Statistics:
Games/Started: 11/11

Tackles: 96

Sacks: 2.0

His attorney, George Laughrun, said Beason had nothing to do with the incident on Nov. 15 and would plead not guilty.

"He's adamant that he never hit anyone," Laughrun said. "He's just pretty devastated that he's charged with something like this. But he has confidence in the system and looks forward to clearing his good name."

Gregory Frye accused the 6-foot, 237-pound Beason in the arrest warrant of inflicting serious injuries at the Uptown Cabaret, a strip club within walking distance of Bank of America Stadium. Frye, who has an arrest record, claimed his nasal cavity was crushed and he suffered bruising to his nose and face.

Beason hours earlier on Nov. 15 had recorded eight tackles in Carolina's victory over Atlanta.

Laughrun said police hadn't finished an investigation, but Frye was able to obtain a warrant from a judge for Beason's arrest.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police spokeswoman Rosalyn Harrington said she had no information and couldn't comment. Laughrun said Beason is scheduled to appear in court Jan. 11.

"We were aware of the police department looking into the incident and have addressed it with Jon," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. "At this time there appears to be two different versions of what happened."

Beason could not immediately be reached. His agent, Drew Rosenhaus, didn't immediately return a phone message seeking comment

The arrest comes a day after Beason matched a career-high with 17 tackles and recovered a fumble in Carolina's 17-6 loss to the New York Jets.

After starring at Miami, Beason immediately became one of Carolina's top defensive players after being the team's first-round pick in 2007. He set a franchise record with 160 tackles his rookie year, and recorded 159 tackles last season when he was selected to the Pro Bowl for the first time.

Beason has a team-best 115 tackles in what has been a disappointing 2009 season for the Panthers (4-7).

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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