Fla. battery charge dropped against ex-NFL player
Prosecutors will not pursue domestic battery charges against former football star Warren Sapp, who was arrested in Miami Beach a day before the Super Bowl, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said Wednesday.
Sapp had faced one count of misdemeanor domestic battery. But prosecutors decided to drop criminal action against the former defensive tackle because of inconsistencies between the victim's statements and evidence, including surveillance video, according to a memo from the office.
Sapp's attorney, Christopher Lyons, said that his client ``was always confident that the system would work and he would be cleared of any wrongdoing. Warren looks forward to putting this matter behind him.''
Miami Beach police arrested Sapp on Feb. 6 after a woman complained that she had been battered in his room at the Shore Club hotel. The woman alleged that Sapp started to choke her and pushed her down on a couch during an argument, according to an arrest affidavit. Sapp also grabbed the woman by her shirt and neck and threw her down, the affidavit stated.
The prosecution memo said further investigation uncovered problems with the victim's account. For example, she told police that a man helped her walk down a hotel hallway, but surveillance video shows her walking with the man unassisted. She also told investigators that she had trouble walking after the alleged attack, but surveillance footage shows that she walked without a limp.
``Victim gave sworn testimony that she was in excruciating pain from the moment she fell on her knee and was teary-eyed while in the lobby moments after the incident,'' the memo states. ``However, there is a security witness who observed the victim giggling with an anonymous man, as well as walking in high heels without any trouble.''
After the arrest, Sapp was pulled from the NFL Network, where he worked as an analyst. He wasn't part of the network's coverage of the Super Bowl game between the Indianapolis Colts and New Orleans Saints. The network on Wednesday said in a statement that it would now ``sit down'' with Sapp and review his status.
A telephone message left with a Miami Beach Police Department spokesman was not immediately returned.
Sapp played for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders during his NFL career. He was also once a contestant on ABC's ``Dancing With the Stars.''