Aaron Donald never attacked the man who claimed he hit him badly, the Los Angeles Rams star’s attorney claimed Friday morning.
Casey White, the attorney Donald hired to represent him, made his first public comments in an interview with 93.7 The Fan radio station in Pittsburgh. White told the station that DeVincent Spriggs instigated the confrontation last weekend and that Donald had moved from being reluctant to be friends to actually rescuing Spriggs.
“He’s going to the pile where this hand-to-hand fight is taking place and he’s starting to tear people down to protect Mr. Spriggs,” White said. “He actually saves Mr. Spriggs from further injuries.”
The incident in question occurred in the early hours of April 11th at an after-hours club on the South Side of Pittsburgh. Spriggs’ attorney Todd Hollis told Yahoo Sports Wednesday that his client sustained a number of injuries, including a concussion, a broken nose and eye socket, and a cut near his right eye that required 16 stitches.
Lawyers on both sides agree that the incident started when Spriggs came across Donald, but their stories differ from there. White claimed Spriggs yelled at Donald that Spriggs had been escorted out of the party and that he was still outside when the Rams star walked out of the house about 10 minutes later.
“Mr. Spriggs walks up to Aaron and he screams he’s drunk and he’s aggressive,” White said. “Aaron sees something in his right hand. At first he thinks it’s a weapon. And Aaron says at this point,” Oh my god. “But it’s actually a bottle – a long liquor bottle.”
Spriggs then swung the bottle at Donald, according to White. The Rams star ducked, but the bottle brushed his head, said White.
When asked about the incident with Donald on Wednesday, Pittsburgh police confirmed that a criminal complaint had been filed. Police spoke to the complainant shortly before 1 p.m. on Sunday at a hospital in Pittsburgh. During the conversation, the police said that the applicant admitted that he had “thrown a bottle of alcohol”.
The story goes on
Some of the surveillance footage leaked appears to show Donald being held back by friends and later trying to end the hand-to-hand combat. White said he had “five confirmatory witnesses and more from the woodworks at this point.”
“There is no dispute that Mr. Spriggs is injured, but the other people who were there that night were responsible for protecting Mr. Donald and, in turn, caused Mr. Spriggs to be injured,” White said. “He is being beaten. He is slammed. He is kicked in the head. It’s violent, but all the time, Aaron is held back. “
As Spriggs’ attorney described the incident on Wednesday, Donald and his friends were the attackers. Hollis said Spriggs tried to leave but Donald and friends attacked him. It is not clear from the leaked surveillance video how the altercation begins.
“Mr. Spriggs is a relatively tall man,” said Hollis. “Had it been a shorter man he could have been killed.”
It is up to the Pittsburgh Police Department to sift through the video evidence and testimony to determine what happened and whether charges of assault are warranted.
A Pittsburgh Police Department public information officer told Yahoo Sports Friday that the department is “still reviewing all available videos.” She described the investigation as “ongoing” and said the Pittsburgh police “currently have no new updates to share”.
Donald, a native of Pittsburgh and former college star in Pitt, is three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and has won the Pro Bowl in each of his seven NFL seasons. The Rams released a statement Wednesday that they were aware of the reports on Donald.
“We are collecting more information and will not comment further at this time,” said Rams’ statement.
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