Carolina Panthers defensive star Greg Hardy -- aka "Da Kraken" -- was arrested in Charlotte early Tuesday morning on suspicion of domestic violence ... this according to police.
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD says ... cops received a call around 4:18 AM about about a fight involving Hardy and his girlfriend.
When cops arrived to the scene, officers say Hardy's 24-year-old girlfriend had scratched and bruises. She told cops they've been in a relationship since last year.
Hardy -- 6'4", 290 lbs -- was ultimately taken into custody for assault and communicating threats.
Hardy -- who made the Pro Bowl in 2013 -- is a big part of the Carolina defense ... and is reportedly set to make $13.1 million next season.
Story developing ...