Riquan James is telling anyone who will listen that Mike and Maurkice Pouncey pummeled him early Saturday morning.
Anyone, it seems, except the Miami Beach Police Department.
James’ attorney called a news conference Tuesday to announce a lawsuit against the NFL stars, claiming they beat his client up at South Beach’s Cameo nightclub early Saturday.
Miami Beach Police responded to an altercation at the club. But they say they are waiting for
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James to come in and give detectives his version of events of the Pouncey brothers’ South Beach birthday party.
“We need them to come forward and speak to investigators,” said Sgt. Bobby Hernandez, a Miami Beach police spokesman. “We’ve been anxiously awaiting that since they made the allegations on Saturday.”
The twins’ attorney says the allegations are patently false. In a statement to the Miami Herald late Tuesday, Jeff Ostrow, personal counsel to the Pounceys, called the accusations “lies.”
“Mike and Maurkice were not involved in any altercation with the accuser or anyone else that night and did nothing wrong,” Ostrow wrote. “It appears that the accuser is an opportunist seeking attention and possible financial gain. Any attempt by the accuser or anyone else to bring an action against them based upon these false allegations will be vigorously defended. If the accuser continues to perpetuate these lies, we will bring an action against him.”
Nonetheless, James and two others plan to go forward with a lawsuit against Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, star offensive linemen for the Dolphins and Steelers, respectively.
James, 24, Niya Pickett, 32, and Brentley Williams, 24, have hired personal injury attorney Marwan Porter, who confirmed that a lawsuit will be filed by week’s end.
“This kind of conduct cannot be tolerated,” Porter said. “These are big men. They cannot conduct themselves in this manner. They think they can get a free pass.”
James told the Miami Herald on Tuesday that he had just arrived at Cameo about 4 a.m. when some shoving began.
James, who said he was invited to the annual party by former Dolphins lineman Bryant McKinnie, claims the identical Pouncey brothers were pushing a group of people as he walked in.
Soon, he got shoved too. He asked them to stop. One of the brothers – who at least one witness believes was Maurkice – didn’t like that, James said. Then the Pouncey brother, the much smaller James continued, responded first with homophobic taunts – and then fists.
“I heard a series of slurs from the Pouncey brothers, referring to me as less than a man, a f-----, a b----,” said James. “I assume me asking them not to touch me rubbed them the wrong way.
“Then someone turned me around, and one of the Pouncey brothers hit me in the face," he added. “A gang of guys hit me. To protect myself from being really injured, I crawled up into a fetal position, until I got thrown out [of the club].”
Despite his efforts, James still got hurt. He has two knots on his forehead. His face is still swollen. A tooth chipped. And his head still throbs. He put pictures of the injuries on Instagram.
Step one of the litigation process is making sure whatever surveillance video of the incident remains intact, Porter said. He has sent Cameo a written request to not alter or delete the footage, which also likely will be part of any Miami Beach police investigation.
Williams, who didn’t know James before the night of the party, didn’t hear the alleged slurs, but claims she did see a Pouncey brother strike James. In the melee that ensued, she ended up on the floor, and was cut by broken glass. She needed nine stitches on her leg, she said. Williams acknowledged that she had yet to give her account to law enforcement.