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Man Says Chargers End Assaulted Him

September 28, 1999

SAN DIEGO (AP) _ Police are investigating a 23-year-old man’s claim that San Diego Chargers defensive end Chris Mims hit him twice with his belt and stole his food following a verbal confrontation outside a downtown taco shop early Monday morning.

Mims left the scene before officers arrived and hadn’t yet been contacted by police, spokesman Bill Robinson said Tuesday.

Police were called to a Del Taco at about 2:40 a.m. Monday, some 10 hours after the Chargers lost their home opener, 27-19 to the Indianapolis Colts.

Michael J. McKinney told police that Mims threatened him, shoved his head into a wall, took his four tacos and then chased him, striking him twice with his belt.

Police likely will talk again with McKinney and a Del Taco employee, who recognized Mims as being a member of the Chargers, before deciding whether to send the case either to the city attorney or district attorney, Robinson said.

Chargers players had Tuesday off and Mims, the team’s first-round draft pick in 1992, was not available for comment. General manager Bobby Beathard was on a scouting trip and Mims’ agent didn’t immediately return a phone call seeking comment.

Del Taco employee Rasean Johnson told police that a black limousine pulled up to the drive-through window and Mims got out and started urinating in the parking lot.

McKinney, who was at a walk-up window, said something to Mims, who then came over and said: ``I’ll beat you with my belt,″ the police report said. McKinney told police he tried to ignore Mims, but was attacked.

McKinney sustained bruises and welts on the left side and back of his neck from being struck with a belt, and had small cuts on his lower lip, left side and the back of his right hand, the report said.

Johnson told KGTV that Mims said to McKinney: ``I’m going to keep your damn tacos.″

``This is a million dollar man right here, who gets a nice paycheck, taking this man’s $2 tacos,″ Johnson said.

Mims, in his second stint with the Chargers, makes the league minimum of $400,000.

Mims battled his weight and had legal and financial problems off the field during his first five seasons with the Chargers. He was released in April 1997 and signed by the Washington Redskins. The Chargers re-signed him in June 1998, and he’s been a reserve ever since.

After the 1995 season ended with a 35-20 home playoff loss to the Colts on New Year’s Eve, Mims showed up almost an hour late to the team’s final meeting the next morning, emerging disheveled from a limousine.

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