The attorney representing Dolphins safety Jonathon Amaya strongly disputes the charge that his client attacked a South Beach cab driver last month, saying the entire accusation is a fabrication.
“Jonathon Amaya never laid a hand on this man, never touched him, never threatened him,” criminal defense attorney Edward O’Donnell said Tuesday. “When a full investigation is made, we believe charges will be dropped.”
Furthermore, O’Donnell said, no material evidence exists that Amaya choked Jonathan Vunge before dawn on Nov. 26. In essence, the off-duty Biscayne Park cops who were moonlighting at Miami Beach’s Club Bamboo charged Amaya with battery on nothing more than the taxi driver’s version of events, he added.
According to police records, the cops who were working outside the club saw Vunge driving the cab erratically and heard him scream, “This man is trying to kill me!”
Amaya has pleaded not guilty to the battery charge and has requested a trial by jury.
Amaya and Vunge were alone in the taxi cab that night, but there might be a witness to the alleged altercation. Amaya spoke with his girlfriend for 22 minutes during his fateful ride, and O’Donnell claims she heard the dispute and backs up Amaya’s version of events.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office will decide in the coming weeks whether to go forward with the case or drop the charges. Amaya has remained a member of the Dolphins since his arrest and played in the Dolphins’ loss to San Francisco on Sunday.