Hours before former 49ers tight end Bruce Miller allegedly punched a 70-year-old hotel guest in San Francisco, the player was fighting with a customer at a popular bar and restaurant over a sandwich, the manager told NBC Bay Area on Tuesday.
Tommy’s Joynt manager Eddie Martin said Miller came in about midnight on Monday, hungry and without any money, according to what his staff told him and a review of video footage the owner wouldn’t release.
Miller then got into some sort of altercation with a customer and tried grabbing his sandwich away, Martin said. Miller was so drunk he was almost unable to stand, Martin said, and an employee escorted Miller out of the restaurant located at Geary Boulevard and Van Ness Avenue. Some customers recognized him as an NFL player.
Then, about 2:45 a.m., a drunk Miller went to the Fisherman's Wharf Marriott on Columbus Avenue and tried getting into a hotel room that wasn't his, according to San Francisco police Officer Grace Gatapandan.
A 70-year-old man opened the door and told Miller he was in the wrong room, Gatapandan said. The elderly man's son, who was staying next door, also came out to tell Miller he was in the wrong place, which is when the 248-pound, 6-foot-2 player rushed at the 29-year-old son, police said.
The 70-year-old father came to his son's defense, Gatapandan said, and Miller punched him. Both father and son were taken to San Francisco General Hospital, where they were treated in the emergency room and then discharged, hospital officials said.
A source close to the investigation told NBC Bay Area the elderly man sustained a black eye and possible facial bone fractures.
Miller was arrested shortly afterward at the Travelodge motel across the street from the Marriott. The manager there told NBC Bay Area that Miller was bleeding and vomiting, some of which was captured on surveillance video.
The 49ers tweeted Miller's release at noon, just about 30 minutes after he was booked at the San Francisco County Jail. Miller posted the $178,000 bond and slipped out the back door without comment.
Miller is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on assault charges. His Atlanta-based agent, John Reale, described Miller as a "great kid" and was flabbergasted about what happened. He referred calls to Miller's attorney.
In 2015, Miller was arrested after he pushed a woman to the ground and destroyed her cellphone outside Posh Bagel at the Rivermark Plaza, a Santa Clara police report indicates. He pleaded no contest in June of that year to a misdemeanor domestic violence charge. The plea resulted in a disturbing the peace conviction.
As part of the plea, Miller was ordered to undergo court-ordered counseling.