While Vikings cornerback Benny Sapp may be a growing figure in Minnesota sports, he is also a parent. Like many Minneapolis parents, there is nothing more frightening that knowing your child is in the hospital. Having a child with a serious enough illness or medical condition to require hospitalization puts most parents on edge. Whether this means they have a short fuse, are not acting with their normal judgment or are somewhat confrontational, no one should understand this better than hospital staff.
When Sapp’s daughter was at the Children’s Hospital at around 1 or 2 a.m., it would have made sense for the hospital security staff to be a little more patient with the upset father. Instead, the staff members were unwavering in what they claim was hospital policy. After what police are describing as an exchange of words and an alleged physical altercation, the cornerback was cited for careless driving and fifth-degree assault.
According to the Star Tribune, Sapp had called his mother pick up his son from the entrance of the hospital after Sapp supposedly could not find the passes that would have allowed him past a security officer. Although his mother was in the neighboring hallway and the security officer was apparently aware that the Viking was leaving his pre-teen son with the security officer while his mother was en route to picking him up, a security officer tried to stop Sapp from leaving.
Sapp got in his truck to drive to work, but the officer was standing in the way of his vehicle. When he got out of the truck, police say he tried to speak with the officer. Other sources say that he bumped chests with the officer in an attempt to move him or her from the way of his truck. It seems that police then arrived and ticketed Sapp for careless driving and assault.
For a stressed-out and upset parent dealing with a high-profile job and a sick child, a stubborn security officer may be the last thing a parent can deal with in a day. There is no excuse for a violent retaliation, but merely speaking with a security officer and attempting to move him or her from the path of a vehicle hardly qualifies as careless driving or an assault.
Source: Star Tribune, “Vikings’ Sapp upset with tickets, media reports of incident,” Mark Craig, Jan. 2, 2012