NORFOLK, Va. (AP) — The attorney for Tennessee Titans wide receiver Justin Hunter said Monday that his client didn't sucker punch anybody outside a Virginia Beach bar following a massive brawl inside of it over the July Fourth weekend.
Hunter has been charged with malicious wounding in his hometown for punching someone multiple times, although he's been released on bond.
Prosecutors contend Hunter interrupted a conversation a man was having with someone else at the Sandbar Raw Bar in the oceanfront resort area of the city. After words were exchanged, Hunter punched the man in the face twice, according to prosecutors. After a melee ensued and the bar was cleared, prosecutors contend the man who Hunter originally punched was bent over and spitting out blood on the sidewalk, and Hunter "sucker punched" him again, before hopping into a waiting vehicle. Prosecutors said the man's jaw was broken and he had to be treated at a hospital.
On Monday, Hunter attorney Toby Vick said the sucker punch never happened.
"He didn't sucker punch anybody. We're confident we'll be able to establish that," Vick said in a telephone interview from his Richmond office.
Vick also said Hunter and his friends were not the aggressors in the bar fight.
"It's not consistent with Justin's past or his demeanor," he said.
So far, Hunter is the only person who has been charged in connection with the brawl.
Hunter has been largely quiet on the topic. On Friday, he said he's focusing only on football during training camp and referred questions about his arrest to Vick. A preliminary hearing in the case is scheduled for Sept. 3, hours before the Titans are scheduled to host Minnesota in their final preseason game. Vick said that date would likely be pushed back.
Vick said several witnesses would be able to corroborate Hunter's version of events. Vick said the person who claims he was punched by Hunter is a convicted felon, although police have not publicly identified him.
"We believe there are serious inconsistencies that have emerged in the person who brought the charges story, and we have also talked to a number of witnesses.
Hunter played in 14 games as a rookie, catching 18 passes for 354 yards and four touchdowns. He played 12 games before a season-ending injury in 2014 and finished with 28 receptions for 498 yards and three TDs.
Hunter has said he has not heard yet from the NFL about possible punishment.
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