It wasn't Suge who punched valet, his lawyer says. She says eight sworn witnesses back his story, and that he did not violate his parole

By Gary Susman
Updated July 03, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Rap mogul Suge Knight has been in a Los Angeles jail since Friday for allegedly violating his parole by scuffling with a parking valet, but his lawyer says he didn’t do it — and she has the sworn testimony of eight witnesses to prove it. Rather, attorney Rose Kogeman said, it was someone else who shoved and punched the parking attendant. ”Unfortunately for Mr. Knight, it appears that he was arrested prior to a full investigation of the allegation,” she said at a press conference Wednesday in Claremont, Calif.

Initial accounts of the June 21 incident alleged that the Death Row Records founder battered the valet after an evening at a nightclub because the attendant had blocked the impatient Knight’s car with another vehicle. But Kogeman said that eight witnesses had been deposed who fingered someone else as the assailant. One witness, Minister Tony Mohammad, western regional director of the Nation of Islam, said at the press conference that he was with Knight that evening and had seen no physical contact between Knight and the valet.

The statements will be considered when the state Board of Prison Terms meets later this month to determine whether Knight violated his parole. The impresario has already spent 61 days behind bars this year for another parole violation, associating with alleged gang members. (Knight said he did so only as part of his work, and with the consent of the parole board.) If the board does find Knight in violation, he could be jailed for up to a year.