By Omar Kelly Sun Sentinel
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Police are investigating battery claims made from a South Florida man who alleges twin brothers and NFL Pro Bowl centers, Mike and Maurkice Pouncey, assaulted him during their annual birthday party.
No police report is available yet for the alleged incident, which took place at Cameo Night club around 4:20 a.m. on Saturday. But according to Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez, the department’s detectives have taken a statement from the alleged victim, Ricky Vasquez, and are gathering all the facts involving the battery claims centering around the pair.
Vasquez used his social media account to accuse the Pounceys and the club’s bouncers of battery, and claims he went to the hospital for medical treatment, which included 10 stitches.
Mike Pouncey is entering his fourth season as a starter with the Miami Dolphins, and Maurkice Pouncey is entering his fifth season as a starter with the Pittsburgh Steelers. This offseason, Maurkice signed a five-year, $44 million extension with the Steelers.
Controversy has followed the Pouncey brothers since their time at the University of Florida, and last year at the same nightclub, at another birthday party, the twins made national news for wearing “Free Hernandez” hats, in their attempt to show support for former NFL player Aaron Hernandez.
Aaron Hernandez, their friend and former college roommate, is charged with “orchestrating the execution” of Odin Lloyd on June 17, 2013.
In a separate case, the former tight end also is charged in the drive-by shootings of Safiro Furtado and Daniel Abreu in Boston in 2012. That trial is set for May 2015. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to all three murder charges.
“There was an incident that occurred at Cameo last night at 4:20 a.m., where an alleged assault took place,” Bobby Hernandez told the Sun-Sentinel. “We have no information identifying them as being the culprits yet. Our detectives are involved and pulling surveillance video, and taking statements from witnesses.”
Mike Pouncey has had a troublesome year. After the “Free Hernandez” incident, the Dolphins center was called on to give grand jury testimony centering around his relationship with Hernandez.
He was also one of three Dolphins players implicated in the Ted Wells report for his role in the harassment that prompted fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin to quit the team in late October. Pouncey, Richie Incognito and John Jerry were identified in the Wells report as the three individuals who created a hostile working environment for Martin, who has since been traded to the San Francisco 49ers, and a Dolphins team trainer.
Pouncey has expressed remorse for his role in the bully scandal, which sideswiped the Dolphins’ 8-8 season in 2013. But he stands by his belief that he didn’t create a hostile work environment for anyone in the organization, and has been a good teammate and leader.
The Dolphins front office and coaching staff have expressed support for Pouncey throughout all his drama, and even opted into the fifth-year of his rookie contract, which will pay him $7.4 million in 2015 if he isn’t released. However, the team had privately expressed hope that he will grow up and mature considering he’s viewed as a team leader.
Pouncey removed himself from social media after the first day of the 2014 NFL Draft because of a poorly executed joke about expecting a gift from fellow offensive JaWuan James, whom the Dolphins selected in the first round to help stabilize last year’s disastrous offensive line, which allowed 58 sacks.
Mike Pouncey had his hip surgically repaired last month and is expected to miss at least the first month of the NFL regular season.
According to Bobby Hernandez the Miami Beach police are aggressively gathering all the necessary information to investigate the merits of the battery claims.