The more time passes, and the more information that comes out of a weekend incident at Cameo, a Miami area club, the more it appears Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey and his twin brother, Pittsburgh Steelers Pro Bowl center Maurkice Pouncey, had nothing to do with it. That has not stopped Riquan James, who is identified online by the name Ricky Vasquez, from continuing to levy the allegations.
Initial reports from the weekend all started when James made a series of posts on various social media platforms, posts that accused the Pouncey twins and four Cameo bouncers of assaulting him. The attack was enough to send James to the hospital for 10 stitches. He also reportedly chipped a tooth.
Miami's NBC 6 affiliate spoke with James on Tuesday, when he continued to spread his allegations. According to the report, James said the Pouncey brothers began taunting him.
"From there, somebody grabbed me and I got hit," James said during the phone interview. "Somebody lifted me up and dragged me out of the club. I was being beat up, I was getting punched and kicked. A bottle hit me."
Two women also allege injuries from the incedent, including Ninya Pickett, a friend of James'. "I noticed Maurkice had his hand in Ricky's face and he just hit him," she told NBC 6. "So I jumped in to try and intervene and separate Ricky to get him out of there. That's when Maurkice turned around to punch me in my face."
The other woman added that she wsa knocked onto a table covered in glasses during the incident, leading to a two inch laceration that required nine stitches.
Police have confirmed that an incident occured, and that they were called to the club at around 4:25am Saturday morning, but have not named any suspects, though they did state that the Pouncey brothers were not intially considered a part of the investigation. Cameo is annually the host for the Pouncey brothers' birthday party. They also were in the news after the 2013 edition of the party, when the two brothers were photographed wearing "Free Hernandez" hats, referencing their former Florida Gators teammate Aaron Hernandez, who had just been arrested on murder charges in Massachusetts.
According to a South Florida Sun Sentinel report from Omar Kelly yesterday, James, and potentially Pickett, had not spoken to police about the incident. "The alleged victims have not come in to meet with the detectives and that is delaying the process," Miami Beach police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez told the paper Tuesday night.
Miami Herald reporter Adam Beasley reported nearly the same thing this morning, quoting Sgt. Hernandez as saying, "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."
James has held a press conference, however, annoucing yesterday his intent to file a lawsuit against the Pounceys, as well as Cameo. He alleges that not only was he physically assaulted, but was verbally attacked as well. "The music was loud, but I know for a fact I heard *expletive* *expletive*, *expletive*. I know I heard that for a fact," James said, according to the NBC 6 report. James has previously said the Pounceys used homophobic slurs toward him during the attack.
The Pounceys are denying any involvement in the incident, and their attorney, Jeff Ostrow, is not pulling any punches at this point. In a written statement released late last night, Ostrow stated:
"Mike and Maurkice were not involved in any altercation with the accuser or anyone else that night and did nothing wrong. 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."
A source has told Pro Football Talk's Michael David Smith that preliminary evidence collected by the police indicates no involvement in the incident by the Pounceys.
The Dolphins report to training camp next week, and hopefully all of this will have been concluded prior to that happening. With lawsuits already threatened, however, this may be a long process. The key will all come down to what the security video from inside the club shows, but, if the police are already indicating their investigation does not indicate the Pounceys, and the alleged victims are not speaking to the police, this could prove to be a lot of mud-slinging at the Pounceys with nothing really sticking.