Reporting Tim Kephart
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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins defensive back Jonathon Amaya was arrested early Monday morning on Miami Beach for allegedly choking a taxi driver, according to Miami Beach Police.
According to Miami Beach Police, Amaya got into a taxi cab on Miami Beach and asked the driver, Salvador Vunge, to take him to Weston. Police said Vunge told Amaya that he didn’t take people that far, but police said Amaya gave the driver $100 up from to be taken to Weston.
Miami Beach Police said as Vunge began to head towards Weston, Amaya got “aggressive with him.” Vunge went back to where he picked up Amaya and police said gave the Dolphins player his money back and asked him to get out of the cab.
“When I drop him off I give him $100, before he gets out he say ‘I should’ve punched you in the face,’ I say ‘you should have a little more respect for people” said Vunge.
Then Vunge said Amaya attacked him.
“He jumps on to me, tries to choke me but against the wall of the taxi,” he said.
Vunge said he approached police officers outside the club honking his horn with his emergency lights on, and finally jumped out of the cab. “I jump out of car went to police officer said ‘somebody’s trying to kill me.”
Vunge had no visible injuries, but said he was scared for his life. Police arrested Amaya for simple battery. CBS4’s Maggie Newland tried to contact him, but his voicemail was full. The name of an attorney was not immediately available.
Amaya is in his third season out the University of Nevada. He has 27 tackles in his career and has played for the Dolphins in two of his three seasons.
Salvador Vunge told us he had no idea the person he picked up was a Dolphins player, and he says it doesn’t matter.
“What I would say to him – learn to respect other people that’s the most important,” he said.