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Assault victim’s attorney apologizes for mistaking assailant for Rams’ Aaron Donald

Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald during the first half against the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 1, 2019 in Glendale, Ariz.
(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

The attorney for a man who accused Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald of assaulting him said he apologized Friday night after viewing video that showed Donald was not the person responsible for his client’s injuries.

“It’s my belief after viewing the video that the person involved in the altercation was not Aaron Donald,” attorney Todd J. Hollis said in a phone interview. “It was somebody who resembled him.”

Hollis added: “We made these allegations publicly, so I believe once I received the information that it was not him, I believe that I should be public with that as well and do so immediately rather than later.”

The Pittsburgh police have been reviewing a complaint that alleged Donald was involved in an assault last weekend of De’Vincent Spriggs, who Hollis had said suffered a concussion, a broken bone in his eye socket, a broken nose, an arm injury, and a laceration that required 16 stitches. Spriggs and Hollis filed a complaint with police Wednesday.

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Donald’s attorney, Casey White, told a Pittsburgh radio station Friday that his client did not assault a man, and that there was video evidence and five witnesses so far to corroborate the story.

According to 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.”

A video obtained by WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh, appears to show Donald attempting to break up a fight before being pulled away.

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.


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