Lawyer says evidence will clear Holmes
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Not only did Santonio Holmes not throw a liquor glass at a woman in an Orlando, Fla., nightclub, no one did, the lawyer for the Steelers player claimed Thursday.
Attorney Adam B. Swickle said he sent "evidence" supporting his contention to an Orlando Police Department detective investigating an assault allegation against Mr. Holmes that stems from the March 7 incident with college student Anshonae Mills.
"Our evidence suggests that a glass wasn't even thrown," Mr. Swickle said, declining to reveal what specific information he passed along to the police in the hopes of putting the criminal investigation to rest.
The information was sent Wednesday by overnight mail. Orlando police spokeswoman Sgt. Barbara Jones would not confirm whether a package was received or discuss any aspect of the case, citing the ongoing investigation.
A squabble between the Steelers receiver and Ms. Mills broke out around 2 a.m. at Rain Ultra Lounge, apparently over a seat in the club's VIP section, according to a police report. It is unclear if the two knew each other before that night.
Ms. Mills, 21, told police that Mr. Holmes, 26, threw a glass at her face, cutting her and temporarily blinding her with the liquor.
Mr. Holmes denied any involvement, according to the police report, and told an officer that a woman in the club was the culprit.
Jacques L. Cooper, a lawyer for Ms. Mills, declined comment.
A lawsuit filed by Ms. Mills against Mr. Holmes alleging battery, assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress claims that a glass struck her face "at a high rate of speed from only a few feet away."
Mr. Swickle noted that a police report indicates that Ms. Mills received only a minor injury over her eye -- not what he would expect if a professional football player threw a glass at someone's face from point-blank range.
Mr. Swickle characterized Ms. Mills' lawsuit as "extortion."
"We believe at this point this is extortion, threatening criminal charges against a person to get money," Mr. Swickle said.
Mr. Swickle said the information he and his private investigator, Robert W. Crispin, turned up is so compelling that police will drop the case.
"We have received substantial and ... undisputed evidence that Santonio Holmes had nothing to do with the throwing of that liquor," Mr. Swickle said.
"We believe that after law enforcement receives this evidence ... that he will not be charged with any crime, they will not pursue prosecution against him."
Mr. Swickle suggested that a third party threw the contents of a glass -- a beverage and perhaps ice or a straw -- at Ms. Mills in an effort to intervene in a dispute between the woman and Mr. Holmes.
Mr. Swickle declined to provide more information.
The police report states that Ms. Mills was escorted out of the club by security.
An officer went back in with several of her female friends who pointed out a man in the VIP section.
Ms. Mills, however, said he was "the wrong guy. We then went back into the club where they then pointed out Holmes," the report states.
Ms. Mills told the officer that Mr. Holmes was indeed the culprit.
First Published April 9, 2010 12:00 am