Attorney says client mistook Rams’ Aaron Donald for attacker, apologizes

12:34 AM ET.

Lindsay Therespan


    • He covered the Rams for the Los Angeles Times for two years.
    • Previously handled by Sokolov
    • Beats the NBA, college football and basketball.

The lawyer for De’Vincent Spriggs, the man who earlier this week accused Los Angeles Rams quarterback Aaron Donald of assault, is now apologizing to Donald on behalf of his client.

District Attorney Todd J. Hollis told Pittsburgh station KDKA on Friday night that Spriggs mistook the attacker for Donald outside a nightclub near Pittsburgh.

The apology comes on the same day that a lawyer hired by Donald denies Spriggs’ claim that Donald was involved in the attack. Casey White, Donald’s lawyer, told ESPN Friday morning that Spriggs swung a bottle at Donald, which fell on his head as he bent down before others around Donald intervened.

While he’s dodging, someone is grabbing him from behind to keep him from going out with this guy, Mr. B. Spriggs to work with, so he’s kind of holding Aaron back, White said. At that point, other people come to Aaron’s aid and protect him by sending Mr. B., who has been in contact with him for several years. Pull Spriggs out of the area where he’s being beaten and wrestled; right now, it’s a mutual battle between other people that Aaron doesn’t really know.

White said they have received at least five witness statements and that others have come forward and are willing to testify. White also said that on video surveillance of the area, it did not show Donald attacking Spriggs, and that Donald ended up helping to keep people away from Spriggs.

Aaron rushes to help [Spriggs] and starts pulling people away from this guy, White said. He’s trying to keep the kids away from Spriggs. He gets at least two or three people from Spriggs, then someone grabs Aaron and says: This is a bad situation, let’s get out of here.

Hollis filed a criminal complaint Wednesday with Pittsburgh police on behalf of Spriggs, alleging that Donald and others assaulted his 26-year-old client at a nightclub last weekend. Hollis said Spriggs needed 16 stitches and suffered a broken eye socket, a broken nose, a concussion and a dislocated or broken arm.

The alleged attack took place around 3 a.m. On Sunday, Hollis said, the lawyer released a photo showing Spriggs with injuries and swelling on his face.

According to Hollis, Spriggs inadvertently confronted Donald and an incident ensued at the nightclub, after which both parties were asked to leave. White said Spriggs gave Donald an elbow in the back, which Donald initially dismissed, thinking it was probably someone he knew.

He turns around, and it’s Mr. Spriggs. and Aaron is speaking: What happened? And Mr. Spriggs starts yelling aggressively: Is that what I wanted? Did I do it? He keeps saying that. It makes no sense, but he keeps screaming: Did I do it? It’s clear to Aaron and to all witnesses that [Spriggs] is drunk, White said.

White said Spriggs was escorted out of what he described as a private party in someone’s apartment above the company bar. According to White, Donald and his colleague left the party shortly after, where they confronted Spriggs in an alley near the convention.

White said he did not expect Pittsburgh police to charge Donald. The Rams issued a statement saying they were aware of the reports about Donald, who is a three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year and seven-time Pro Bowl player with 85.5 career sacks.

We are gathering more information and will not comment at this time, Rams said in a statement.

Donald, 29, from Pittsburgh, was a star player at Pitt, where he often coached in the offseason. The Rams selected Donald with the 13th pick. 2014 Overall Draft Pick. He’s in the middle of a six-year, $135 million contract extension.

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