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DENVER (Reuters) - Charlie Sheen's wife accused the actor of threatening her with a knife in a Christmas Day emergency phone call to police that led to his arrest on domestic violence charges, a recording released on Monday revealed.
The star of the hit CBS television sitcom "Two and a Half Men" was arrested Friday in the ski resort of Aspen, Colorado, on suspicion of second-degree assault and menacing -- both felony offenses -- and a misdemeanor count of criminal mischief.
Police said all three counts were "coupled with domestic violence components," and the chief deputy district attorney for Pitkin County, Arnold Mordkin, said the menacing charge entails the alleged use of a weapon in a threatening manner.
A 911-emergency call recording made public by Aspen police on Monday confirmed media reports that Sheen's wife, Brooke Mueller, was the alleged victim.
On the tape, a distraught Mueller, her speech sounding slurred, told a police dispatcher that Sheen threatened her with a knife before family members intervened and he retreated to "a back room."
"Right now we have people who are separating us, but I have to file the report," she is heard saying. Asked what kind of knife Sheen had, she said, "It's like some switch blade ... he has it in his back pocket." Sheen is not heard on the tape.
The celebrity news website TMZ.com reported that Mueller, who is Sheen's third wife, later recanted much of her initial story to police, while Sheen told authorities that his spouse was the aggressor, and that he was merely fending her off.
Sheen was released from jail on Friday night on $8,500 bail. Mordkin said a decision about whether to file charges is unlikely to be made before February 8, when Sheen is due back in court in Aspen.
The 44-year-old actor returned to the Los Angeles area on Friday night. His Aspen-based lawyer, Richard Cummins, declined to comment on Monday.
Sheen and Mueller, 32, married in May 2008 and had twin sons in April 2009.
Sheen, whose film credits include "Platoon" and "Wall Street," is best known for his starring role as a womanizing Malibu bachelor on the bawdy CBS sitcom "Two and a Half Men," one of television's top-rated shows.
His arrest is not the first time he has been accused of man-handling women. He pleaded no contest to a battery charge in 1997 in connection with an attack on his then-girlfriend.
And his second wife, actress Denise Richards, obtained a restraining order against Sheen in 2006, claiming he had been physically abusive toward her. Their four-year marriage ended that year in divorce.
Additional reporting and writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Jill Serjeant