Celebrated War Veteran and NFL Cheerleader, Megan Welter, Arrested Amid Internet Fame
Aug. 2, 2013
Megan Welter, the Iraq war vet turned pro-football cheerleader whose inspiring story went viral this week has been arrested on assault charges in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Now Welter, who was lauded for her service as a platoon leader and for acing her auditions for the Arizona Cardinals cheerleading squad when she returned home, is at the center of a sordid domestic dispute. And Welter’s mugshot, in which she looks disheveled and drained, has quickly replaced the glammed-up action shot of her cheering in red hot pants and cropped top.
Here’s what’s been reported so far: Welter placed a 911 call to the Scottsdale police at 3am on July 20, explaining that she’d been in a physical altercation with her boyfriend, Ryan, and that they’d both been drinking to celebrate her birthday. “My boyfriend became abusive…He smashed my head into tile,” Welter, sounding out of breath and intoxicated, told the emergency operator in the recording of the 911 call, obtained and provided to Yahoo! Shine by RightThisMinute. She added that he had also put her in a “choke hold,” and that “He knows how to fight, he’s a professional fighter, he’s been trained in wrestling.”
When police arrived at Welter’s house, they interviewed her boyfriend—not identified by the Scottsdale Police Department, which blurred out his face in a video of that exchange, obtained by RightThisMinute. That’s when he told police that Welter had actually assaulted him, and that he had recorded the fight on his phone.
Welter’s mugshot. Photo: Scottsdale Police Department“She found a text message from another girl and she started kicking the s*** out of me,” he explained calmly, adding that he hadn’t touched her. “I was asking her to stop, I was trying to leave. She was pulling out my hair, she was scratching me, she punched me in my face. I have it all on tape.”
That video recording, quickly making its way around the web, is grainy and has action that’s hard to see, but includes a wobbly-looking Welter pushing and pulling him and screaming, “Who is she?” and demanding her boyfriend’s phone as he repeatedly tells her to stop and go inside.
Police arrested Welter, who was later released on a citation and given a court date, according to an email by a police spokesperson. As for her boyfriend, officials claim, “there was no probably cause to arrest the boyfriend for any crime.” Welter showed no signs of being assaulted, according to the police report.
Welter’s boyfriend declined to speak with local TV station KTVK, which reported the story Friday, but did release a statement to the station. “People make mistakes, no one is perfect. I honestly want the best for her and I hope that this doesn’t take away from the good things that she has done for both the NFL, as well as the service to our country,” it read. “People seem to only remember the bad and it is easy to point fingers while standing on the outside. Now with that said, violence is never the answer and I honestly hope that this can be a learning experience for her and everyone else.”
A representative of the Arizona Cardinals did not immediately respond to Yahoo! Shine’s request for comment.