Are authorities on the verge of charging Maurkice Pouncey for his alleged role in a South Beach nightclub brawl?
Yes — and that charge could come as soon as Friday, according to the attorney for the victims, who says he was briefed in recent days by Miami Beach police about their intentions.
Personal injury attorney Marwan Porter said police have indicated that Pouncey, a center for the Pittsburgh Steelers, will be charged with misdemeanor battery.
Dolphins lineman Mike Pouncey, who was with his twin brother at Cameo nightclub the morning of July 12, will apparently not be charged in the incident.
Attorney Jeff Ostrow, who represents the Pounceys, told the Miami Herald late Thursday that, as far as he knew, an assistant state attorney had not been assigned to review the evidence.
“Until such time, no charges can be formally filed against either of my clients," Ostrow continued. "From what we've discovered, the evidence supporting the battery claims is flimsy, at best."
Ostrow pointed to inconsistencies in the accusers’ claims, and added that the defense has “many witnesses who are prepared to testify under sworn oath that neither Maurkice nor Mike had anything to do with the incident. Consequently, after the state reviews all the evidence, I find it highly unlikely that formal charges will be filed against either of the Pouncey brothers.”
Yet Porter, who represents three people injured in the brawl, including primary accuser Riquan James, believes that authorities will indeed act, which would be a “vindication” of his clients, who have sued the Pounceys in Miami-Dade court.
James claims he was decked by Maurkice and pelted with homophobic slurs at the Pounceys‘ annual birthday party last month.
“They weren’t out for some quick payday,” Porter said. “Maurkice will have to be accountable for his conduct and the injuries that he caused.”
As for Miami Beach police, they would not confirm that a charge was pending, but multiple people apprised of the situation believe it will happen, and that it could come as soon as Friday.
“The final meeting with PD and state attorneys is pending,” said Detective Vivian Thayer, a Miami Beach police spokeswoman. “And the direction of where that case goes will be decided at that time.”
Maurkice Pouncey, who signed a six-year, $48 million contract with the Steelers in June, is with his team in Pennsylvania for training camp. Since the expected charge is a misdemeanor, law enforcement won’t go after Pouncey out of state, but he will have to deal with it whenever he returns to South Florida.
Considering Porter plans to subpoena him in the civil case, Pouncey will have to return to Miami at some point.
As for Mike Pouncey, he is no stranger to controversy off the field. He was one of the principles in the team's bullying scandal and was subpoenaed last fall by a Massachusetts grand jury investigating accused triple-murderer Aaron Hernandez. Pouncey is expected to miss the start of the 2014 season with a hip injury.
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