Former NFL player involved in domestic dispute

LAS VEGAS — Former NFL running back Larry Johnson was arrested early Friday at a Las Vegas Strip resort after an ex-girlfriend told police he choked her into unconsciousness and left her in her underwear in a hotel hallway.

Larry Alphonso Johnson Jr., 32, was being held on $15,000 bail at the Clark County jail pending an initial court appearance on a domestic violence-strangulation charge that could get him a minimum of two years in state prison if he is convicted.

Johnson was arrested about 4:30 a.m. at the Bellagio resort, according to a police report that said Johnson and the woman had been drinking alcohol before the altercation, and that the woman had marks on her face and bruises on her neck.

Johnson, who lives in North Bay Village, Fla., had marks on his face that police attributed to the woman fighting him as he choked her.

The woman, 32, from Maryland, told police that she told Johnson that he would have to squeeze harder and get it over with if he was going to kill her, the report states.

She said she awoke in the 10th floor hallway and knocked on doors until someone called hotel security.

It wasn’t clear from the police report if the woman was hospitalized or received medical treatment. Officer Marcus Martin, a Las Vegas police spokesman, said he had no information about her condition.

The arresting officer said Johnson and the woman each told him about previous physical altercations, including one at another Las Vegas Strip hotel. Johnson at one point pretended to run from hotel security officers and told one security officer he would rip his vocal chords out, the police report said.

Yvette Monet, a spokeswoman for Bellagio resort owner MGM Resorts International, cited guest privacy policies and declined comment.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Johnson had a lawyer.

Johnson starred for the Kansas City Chiefs after being drafted from Penn State in the first round of the 2003 NFL draft.

He was chosen All-Pro and Chiefs MVP in 2005 and 2006, and signed a contract in 2007 that guaranteed a team-record $19 million. But he was plagued by injuries and inconsistency in the years that followed.

Johnson played for the Cincinnati Bengals in 2009 and the Washington Redskins in 2010 before playing briefly for the Miami Dolphins in 2011.

Johnson served what amounted to a one-game suspension in 2009 for using an anti-gay slur, and had several scrapes with the law over the years.

He was sentenced in March 2009 to two years of probation with a chance to have his record cleared for good behavior after pleading guilty to reduced disturbing the peace charges in separate incidents involving two women at two Kansas City nightclubs.

One case involved a 26-year-old woman who accused Johnson of pushing her head at a nightspot in February 2008.

The other involved allegations by a 24-year-old woman that Johnson spat a drink at her and threatened to kill her boyfriend in October 2008.

In 2003, Johnson was charged with aggravated assault and misdemeanor battery after being accused of brandishing a gun during an argument with a former girlfriend. The charges were dropped after he completed a domestic violence diversion program.

—Associated Press