Lawyers for former Miami Dolphins cornerback Travis Daniels, accused of roughing up a couple in an argument over a parking space at an Aventura Target, say he was acting in defense of his unborn child.
Aventura police last week arrested Daniels, 31, and his pregnant fiancée, Moyah Purkiss, 31, for battery after officers determined that they were the aggressors during the parking-lot row.
Daniels was trying to protect Purkiss, who was kicked in the stomach during the scuffle that started when a man and woman got out of a car and began threatening them, according to Miami lawyer Ed O’Donnell IV.
“They are relieved that medical tests appear to show that the unborn baby is fine,” O’Donnell said. “But they remain deeply saddened that their good names are being tarnished by these false and incomplete reports and look forward to clearing their names.”
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According to police, it was Daniels and Purkiss who got out of their car to yell at the man and woman. Purkiss “took her cellphone and struck the victim in the face causing facial lacerations and several teeth to be knocked out.”
She was slapped with a felony charge. Daniels was charged with a misdemeanor for allegedly pushing the man and woman. Police arrested the pair after reviewing surveillance footage of the episode, which was witnessed by an off-duty police captain.
But O’Donnell said Daniels even called 911 to report that “he and Ms. Purkiss were being attacked.”
“This is a straightforward case of self-defense and the natural protection of an unborn child,” said O’Donnell, who is representing him along with lawyer Marcos Beaton.
Daniels, who grew up in Hollywood before attending Louisiana State University, was a Dolphins fourth-round draft pick in 2005 and spent his first three pro seasons with his hometown NFL team.
He was ultimately traded to the Cleveland Browns and later played with the Kansas City Chiefs, but has not been in the league since the 2012 season.