- Associated Press - Thursday, March 5, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Mike Adams has sued three men who were acquitted of criminal charges that they attacked him outside a sandwich shop in June 2013.

Adams’ lawsuit claims Jerrell Whitlock, Dquay Means and Michael Paranay tried to steal his vehicle and that Whitlock stabbed him after Means pulled a gun.

The men were acquitted of aggravated assault and attempted homicide charges last April, after they claimed that Adams made up the carjacking story after scuffling with the men while drunk. Means and Paranay have already sued Adams alleging they were wrongly prosecuted because of his claims, and those lawsuits have yet to be resolved in court.

Adams’ lawsuit, filed Wednesday, paints a starkly different picture.

In it, the player contends he was accosted by the trio around 3 a.m. after grabbing a sandwich, parking his truck, then walking to a friend’s home nearby.

Means and Whitlock asked Adams if the pickup was his and ordered him to “give up” the vehicle, the lawsuit states.

“Yeah, this one’s nice. We got a nice one right here,” Paranay said, while hopping up and down, the lawsuit claims.

When Adams refused, Means pulled a gun from his waistband and Paranay punched him in the face before Whitlock stabbed him in the abdomen, the lawsuit said. The trio then ran away.

Means’ lawyer, Monte Rabner, said Adams’ lawsuit was filed as a way for the player to defend himself against the malicious prosecution lawsuits Means and Paranay have pending.

Whitlock, 28, Means, 27, and Paranay, 27, claimed at trial that the incident wasn’t an attempted carjacking but a fight that began when a drunken Adams knocked some food out of Paranay’s hands as he passed the men outside the shop.

Means’ claimed at his criminal trial, and in his lawsuit, that Adams’ version of events to the police and his testimony at trial gradually changed, and that he had an incentive to lie because he was drunk, which Adams has repeatedly denied.

Means’ attorneys have argued that Adams knew he would be in trouble with the team if he was drunk and had to come up with a different version of events.

The Steelers drafted Adams in the second round in 2012 out of Ohio State after his stock dropped due to testing positive for marijuana at the NFL combine. General manager Kevin Colbert has said the Steelers drafted Adams subject to certain stipulations, which the team has never disclosed.

Adams is seeking at least $35,000 in damages.

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