Aaron Donald's lawyer says video evidence shows Rams star did not assault man

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During his zoom conference call with reporters, Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald used a photo of himself flexing as his background.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald talks to media members via a videoconference before last season, using a photo of himself flexing as a backdrop. (Gary Klein / Los Angeles Times)

The attorney for Rams star Aaron Donald told a Pittsburgh radio station Friday that his client did not assault a man, and that there is video evidence and five witnesses so far to corroborate the story.

The Pittsburgh police have been reviewing a complaint that alleged Donald was involved in an assault of De’Vincent Spriggs, who suffered a concussion, a broken bone in his eye socket, a broken nose, an arm injury, and a laceration that required 16 stitches to close from an altercation in the South Side. Spriggs filed a complaint with police Wednesday.

According to Donald's lawyer, Casey White, Spriggs had been escorted to the street after he was aggressively elbowing Donald in the back at a party.

When Donald eventually left the party, according to White, Spriggs was still outside and approached Donald with something in his right hand while yelling. At first Donald thought it was a gun, but it turned out to be a bottle, which Spriggs used to hit Donald and, according to White, Donald has a lump to prove it.

White said there had been a violent attack on Spriggs, but Donald had been pulled away from the situation and restrained during the melee. He eventually broke free to help break up the fight and, according to White, Donald saved Spriggs from further injury.

White also said the Pittsburgh police had contacted him Friday morning and he made the following statement: "I agree thus far that there is no evidence from that video that shows Donald assaulting the victim."

According to the report detectives took Wednesday from the complainant and his attorney, when Spriggs was attempting to leave, Donald cut off Spriggs’ path. Spriggs was punched by someone in Donald’s group, and then Donald punched Spriggs, attorney Todd J. Hollis said.

The Pittsburgh Public Safety Blotter report had stated: “[Spriggs] told police he accidentally bumped into another male at the bar who confronted him verbally. He says that male and another ended up punching and kicking him. The complainant admits to throwing a bottle of alcohol, but didn’t know if he had hit anyone.”

Donald, 29, was the NFL defensive player of the year last season, the third time he has received the award. Donald grew up in Pittsburgh and starred at the University of Pittsburgh before the Rams selected him with the 13th pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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