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49ers release Aldon Smith after arrest for hit and run, drunken driving

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith warms up

San Francisco 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith warms up before a game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Atlanta Falcons in San Francisco, Monday, Dec. 23, 2013. Photo Credit: AP / Marcio Jose Sanchez

Smith -- who was drafted in 2011 and, when at his best, is one of the game's top pass-rushers -- is free to sign with any team and doesn't need to go through waivers but likely would first face a lengthy suspension. The 49ers have had 12 arrests or charges filed involving seven players since January 2012. Police said that at 8:46 p.m. Thursday, Smith collided with a parked vehicle while parking his car, then caused further damage to the parked vehicle with his car door. Authorities said he then left the scene without reporting the collision or leaving any identifying information. He later returned to the parking area, where he was contacted by officers. Smith displayed "objective symptoms of being under the influence of an alcoholic beverage. Officers administered a field sobriety test to Smith" and he was arrested, police said. Smith denied he was driving under the influence during a brief interview with a local TV station before Tomsula's news conference. "Justice will be served, the truth will come out," he told KTVU Fox 2 as he walked out of jail. "There's no DUI. I'm sorry for the way this whole thing -- I want everybody to understand the situation that happened could have been handled differently." Said Tomsula, "Although he won't be playing football for the San Francisco 49ers, he will be supported and helped, and he will not have to walk this path alone. That comes from our ownership down.'' He added, "If one person out there reads this and you're struggling, get help. Go get it. You're worth it. There's value in every human being. Get the help. You don't have to walk alone. Find it, it's there." Tomsula hopes Smith will play football again. "He has been turning his life around. He is in the process of turning his life around. People stumble," he said. "In terms of him playing football again, I sure hope so. I think he can. I want him to." - SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Aldon Smith received second chance after second chance with the San Francisco 49ers, but after his fifth run-in with the law, the team finally had had enough.

After Santa Clara police arrested Smith on Thursday night and accused him of drunken driving, hit and run and vandalism, the 49ers parted ways with the linebacker yesterday. After Smith left jail, general manager Trent Baalke and coach Jim Tomsula met with him to inform him he no longer was part of the team.

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