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Former 49er Kwame Harris arrested on DUI, assault charges

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San Francisco police say he was high and tried to bite an officer. He came out as gay in 2013.

Kwame Harris, shown during his days with the 49ers
Kwame Harris, shown during his days with the 49ers
Robert B. Stanton/Getty Images

Former San Franciso 49er and Oakland Raiders offensive lineman Kwame Harris, who came out openly as gay two years ago, was arrested Sunday in San Francisco and charged with driving under the influence, aggravated assault on an officer, hit-and-run and resisting officers.

From SF Gate:

The incident began when officers on patrol were flagged down near 14th Street and South Van Ness Avenue around 7:30 p.m. and told of a man in a car needing assistance, said Officer Grace Gatpandan, a police spokeswoman. She said they found Harris, 33, of San Francisco, asleep in a vehicle parked halfway into a chained-off driveway.

Police woke the sleeping Harris, who was groggy and unresponsive, Gatpandan said, leading officers to suspect he might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Because the car was running and there were pedestrians in the area, officers tried to handcuff Harris, Gatpandan said. He resisted, at one point attempting to bite the hand of one of the officers before being subdued, police said.

This is not Harris' first brush with the law. In 2013, he was sentenced to five days in jail and three years probation after being convicted of assaulting his boyfriend after a 2012 disputee at a restaurant involving soy sauce and underwear.

In 2013, Harris spoke publicly for the first time about being gay, telling CNN: "I love football. Football provided me with some experiences and some opportunities that I wouldn't trade for anything else," Harris said. "The cost was great in asking me to not speak candidly or be able to be open about myself in this complete manner." He said he wish he had the "fortitude and grace" to come out while he was playing. He played five seasons for the 49ers and one for the Raiders.