Donta Allen
Donta Allen claims the police have distorted his testimony on injuries sustained by Freddie Gray in the back of a police vanScreenshot

A man who was allegedly in the same police van as Freddie Gray, whose death in custody sparked riots in Baltimore, has rejected claims the 25-year-old caused his own fatal injuries.

In television interviews, Donta Allen claimed he was the man police said was picked up about 20 minutes after Gray was arrested, and was put in the same van as the 25-year-old, who was arrested on 12 April on Presbury Street, west Baltimore.

On 30 April, the Washington Post published leaked police documents containing allegations from the second man in the van that Gray "was intentionally trying to injure himself" by "banging against the walls".

In an interview with CBS, Allen said the police account was inaccurate and he had heard "a little banging like [Gray] was banging his head".

"And they're trying to make it seem like I told them that, I made it like Freddie Gray did that to himself," Allen said. "Why the f**k would he do that to himself?"

In an interview with WBAL TV, Allen said the journey to the police station passed without incident and all he heard was "a little banging for about four seconds".

When asked if he told police he heard Gray banging his own head against the police van, Allen said: "I told homicide that. I don't work for the police. I did not tell the police nothing."

Local media were briefed on the police investigation into Gray's death, which concluded that he died after slamming his head against a bolt in the van.

There has been speculation Gray was subjected to a "rough ride" in the van, an alleged police punishment technique in which a prisoner is thrown to side by the motion of the vehicle. Police have confirmed Gray was not wearing a seat belt in the back of the van.

Allen told WJZ- TV that when they arrived at the station, he heard officers saying: "We got him, we gave him a run for his money."

On 30 April, police handed their findings to the state attorney for Baltimore, who will decide whether to press charges against any of the six officers involved in Gray's detention. Allen's statement is included in the report.

Allen was arrested because he allegedly stole a cigarette from a store and was not charged after being brought to the station.