Aaron Donald was accused of assaulting a man at a Pittsburgh bar over the weekend, but the attorney representing Donald says the victim in the attack should actually be thanking the Los Angeles Rams star.
A man named De Vincent Spriggs filed criminal assault charges against Donald on Monday after he said Donald attacked him and injured him outside a nightclub early Sunday morning. Spriggs’ lawyer provided a photo that showed Spriggs’ face badly swollen, but Donald’s attorney says his client did not inflict the injuries.
Donald’s lawyer, Casey White, told 97.3 The Fan on Friday that the reigning Defensive Player of the Year actually saved Spriggs from further injury. White says the incident began after Spriggs started aggressively jabbing Donald in the back with his elbow at a party. Other people at the party took Spriggs outside, and he again encountered Donald and Donald’s brother when they were leaving. Donald says Spriggs began walking at him and yelling while holding something in his hand, which Donald initially thought was a gun. It turned out to be a bottle, which Donald says Spriggs swung at him.
A fight then broke out, and White says Donald tried to pull people away from Spriggs. The lawyer acknowledged that Spriggs’ injuries came from friends who came to Donald’s defense while Donald was restrained.
“Aaron then breaks free from the restraints … he then goes to the pile where this melee is taking place and he starts tearing people off, protecting Mr. Spriggs,” White said. “He actually saves Mr. Spriggs from further injury.”
White says there is video evidence that proves Donald did not attack Spriggs. Five witnesses also said Donald was not the aggressor. The attorney says police have the footage and contacted White on Friday morning to tell him they “agree thus far that there is no evidence from that video that shows Donald assaulting the victim.”
“There’s not much else left to do to be honest with you because he’s not assaulted by Aaron Donald, he’s actually saved by Aaron Donald,” White added. “Mr. Spriggs should write a thank you card to Aaron Donald.”
Even if Donald is not charged, the NFL will conduct its own investigation. He could face disciplinary action, depending upon what his role was in the incident.
Donald is widely considered the best defensive player in the NFL and has been named Defensive Player of the Year in three of the past four seasons.