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Shanahan says Omenihu will play if healthy after arrest, domestic violence allegation



© Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

In the midst of a push for a Super Bowl berth, the 49ers have faced a substantial off-field situation. Not since Reuben Foster has a 49ers’ player’s name come up in a domestic violence allegation.

On Monday, that changed. Charles Omenihu, a key piece of the 49ers’ defensive line — and, for all intents and purposes, a starter — was arrested in San Jose on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence after police were called to his home at the 300 block of Santana Row, as first reported by The Mercury News.

Kyle Shanahan addressed the situation on Wednesday, saying that Omenihu, who has an oblique injury, will practice in limited fashion and will play in the NFC championship if he’s healthy. Omenihu, and everyone besides Jimmy Garoppolo on the team’s injury report, are expected to play, Shanahan said.

“We’re letting the legal process take care of itself, so if he’s healthy, he’ll play this week,” Shanahan said. “What we’ve looked into for the last 24 or 48 hours, not necessarily myself, but other people, we feel very good letting the legal process take care of itself. We don’t feel we should kick him off our team at this time.”

Per a release from San Jose Police, police were called to the home at 4:39 p.m. The release is below:

When they arrived, they met with the reporting party/survivor. The survivor is an adult female and called to report that her boyfriend, Charles Omenihu, pushed her to the ground during an argument. Officers did not observe any visible physical injuries to the survivor, she did however have a complaint of pain to her arm. The survivor declined any medical attention at the time Officers were conducting the investigation.

Officers contacted Omenihu at the scene. He gave a statement and was cooperative with Officers. Based on the victim’s statement and the complaint of pain, Omenihu was arrested for California Penal Code Section 243(e)(1), misdemeanor domestic violence. In addition, an emergency protective restraining order was sought and obtained for the survivor. Omenihu was served with the restraining order by investigating Officers. 

Omenihu was booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail for misdemeanor domestic violence, he has since posted bail and is no longer in custody. The case will be submitted to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office for possible charges. This is an on-going investigation and additional details will be released when they become available.

As of now, the NFL has declined to intervene or change Omenihu’s status. The league provided the following statement on Wednesday:

The matter will be reviewed under the league’s personal conduct policy. There is no change to his status.

The 49ers provided the following statement on Tuesday:

We are aware of the matter involving Charles Omenihu and are in the process of gathering further information.

It’s a situation that is largely affected by the alleged offense being a misdemeanor. That designation means the NFL won’t place him on administrative leave and there is no strict deadline for when charges have to be filed.

Omenihu was traded for on November 2 of last season for a sixth-round pick sent to the Houston Texans. Since arriving, he’s been a substantial part of the team’s defensive line. He’ll be a free agent this offseason.