Vikings cornerback Benny Sapp was cited for two misdemeanors Friday morning – fifth-degree assault and careless driving – after an altercation with security at Children’s Hospital of Minneapolis.
Police responded to a call shortly before 7 a.m. after Sapp and his 11-year-old son tried to enter the hospital through an entrance that was closed at that hour. A hospital security guard directed Sapp to another accessible entrance. But, according to public information officer Bill Palmer of the Minneapolis Police Department, Sapp soon returned with his son and stated his intent to enter the building through the closed entrance whether he was allowed to or not.
Denied again, Sapp left the 11-year-old with the hospital security guard, indicating the boy’s mother was inside and stating he had to go to work. According to Palmer, Sapp then returned to his car in a nearby parking deck, where a security officer attempted to detain him. A physical altercation ensued with Sapp allegedly pushing the security guard and then driving toward the exit of the ramp.
At the parking deck exit, another confrontation broke out in which Palmer says Sapp chest-bumped a security officer and later “used his vehicle to try to move the officer out of the way.” Police had no information on whether Sapp’s vehicle made contact with the security guard.
When police arrived, security was attempting to handcuff the Vikings cornerback. Palmer said Sapp complied and cooperated completely with the dispatched officers and was tagged in lieu of arrest for the two misdemeanors. He will face a court date that is yet to be scheduled.
Said Palmer: “In the state of Minnesota, you can only place someone in custodial arrest and book them into a jail facility if you have reason to believe they are lying about their identity, they indicate that their criminal conduct will continue or they’re a danger to themselves or others. As none of those three exceptions to the law applied, we had to issue a citation in lieu of arrest. So Mr. Sapp will have to call the court in the next couple of weeks and make a court date.”
A Vikings spokesman said Friday evening that the team was aware of the incident. But no additional details were available on whether the veteran cornerback would face team punishment.
It seems unlikely that Sapp will face any significant discipline for Sunday's regular season finale against the Bears. After starting three of the past four games, he was already slated to move back into a back-up role with the Vikings planning to use Asher Allen and Cedric Griffin as their starting corners against Chicago.