Aaron Donald's lawyer says video refutes man's assault claim

FILE - Los Angeles Rams defensive end Aaron Donald (99) walks off the field after a loss to the New York Jets in an NFL football game in Inglewood, Calif., in this Sunday, Dec. 20, 2020, file photo. A lawyer and his 26-year-old client told Pittsburgh police Wednesday, April 14, 2021, that Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald and others assaulted the man at a nightclub last weekend, causing multiple injuries. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Jae C. Hong, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

PITTSBURGH – The lawyer for Los Angeles Rams defensive lineman Aaron Donald said Friday that witnesses and surveillance video refute a man's claim the player assaulted him at a Pittsburgh nightclub last weekend.

Attorney Casey White told WPXI-TV that the video indicates Donald did not assault anyone but was trying to save the victim, De'Vincent Spriggs.

The station aired black-and-white video that shows about a dozen men and a melee in which one man, purportedly Spriggs, ended up on the ground. White says Donald is in the video, pulling someone away from the fight.

“Aaron’s like, ‘I don’t have anything to hide, let’s go to police, let’s do what we’ve got to do. Because all I want to do is go to the weight room, work out and not be bothered with this,’” White told the station.

White told ESPN that five witnesses say Donald helped pull people away.

“He’s trying to get these kids off Spriggs; He gets at least two or three people off of Spriggs and at that point in time, somebody grabs Aaron and says, ‘This is not a good situation, let’s get the heck out of here,’” White told ESPN.

A message seeking further comment was left for White.

Spriggs' lawyer Todd J. Hollis has said Donald and others assaulted Spriggs, causing multiple injuries that required hospital treatment.

Spriggs, 26, filed a complaint on Wednesday with Pittsburgh police, who are investigating. No charges have been filed.

Hollis' office said Friday he had no comment on the video or White's statements.

White said Spriggs had earlier jabbed Donald with his elbow and swung a liquor bottle that grazed Donald's face, and that Donald did not fight back.

“He turned around and it’s this Mr. Spriggs ... and Aaron goes, ‘What’s up?’ and Mr. Spriggs starts yelling belligerently, ‘Did I mean to? Did I mean to?’ He keeps repeating, it’s kind of nonsensical, but he keeps yelling, ‘Did I mean to?’ It’s apparent to Aaron and it’s apparent to all the witnesses that (Spriggs) is intoxicated,” White told ESPN.

Hollis has said Spriggs bumped into Donald and that Donald escalated the matter, leading to the alleged assault.

The incident occurred around 3 a.m. Sunday in the city's South Side. White said the men were at a private party in an apartment, and that after the initial confrontation, Donald and another person encountered Spriggs in a back alleyway.

Donald, 29, was named the Associated Press NFL defensive player of the year in February and played college football at the University of Pittsburgh.