CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - Police in Dallas, Texas have issued a Class C misdemeanor assault citation to Panthers defensive tackle Vernon Butler in connection to an incident involving a woman at a nightclub in July.
A 21-year-old woman identified Butler as the person who allegedly pushed her twice and threw ice in her face at a Dallas nightclub on July 14.
The woman claims Butler attacked her because she ignored his advances. In July, her lawyer said the victim looked at several photos at the police station and picked Butler out.
The woman's lawyer claims Butler tried to connect with his 21-year-old client several times via social media, but say she denied him. The lawyer says the pair's paths crossed at a club called LeVu.
He says when Butler tried to approach his client again she refused and Butler allegedly threw a cup of ice at her face.
The lawyer says he tried to apologize, but when she would not accept Butler pushed her and she fell. The lawyer says once she regained her balance he allegedly pushed her again.
The lawyer says security escorted the woman out of the club because Butler was hosting an event there.
Officers at the Dallas Police Department say the woman made her report at one of the department's police stations on July 19. They are classifying this as a Class C Assault. In the state of Texas, this is punishable with a fine up to $500.
On July 25, WBTV reported the woman and lawyer were concerned about what charges police would file against Butler.
"The contention is that they bump it up to a Class A misdemeanor or leave it as a ticketed offense," lawyer Justin Moore said.
Moore and the woman were concerned the punishment for the charge police are considering is equivalent to getting a speeding ticket.
"Violence against women should not be diminished to running a red light or a stop sign," Moore said.
The lawyer says his client expressed her concern about the possible lesser charge to police after she identified Butler.
"Her concern is a concern that is shared by a lot of other women," Moore said, "Violence against women isn't treated seriously."
Moore says the possible reason for the lesser charge is what the victim told police at the time of the police report.
"The detective that was speaking with her asked her if she felt pain," Moore said. "She was confused by that question because she thought that question meant did she feel pain when she was talking to the detective - ultimately they meant did you feel pain the night that it happened."
Moore says charges could get beefed up now that police know pain was felt at the time of the alleged assault.
The victim waited four days after the alleged incident to go to police. Moore says that at first, she didn't want to involve police, but after consulting with her family she decided to say something. She wants justice served.
"She just wants him to answer for what he did that night in Dallas," Moore said. "So it's up to the Carolina Panthers and the NFL to punish him and how they punish him."
Moore was concerned Butler may get off the hook because of who he is.
"I don't want to speak too far into why I generated that sense," Moore said. "Just from talking to folks who have been looking at this case - I kind of feel that they want this thing to go away as soon as possible, whether if that's a slap on the wrist or sweeping it under the rug - that is a strong possibility."
Panthers officials said the organization is still gathering information in relation to the case.