Courts & Crime

Former NFL star Warren Sapp arrested, charged with battery

Warren Sapp, a University of Miami legend and former All-Pro lineman in town to provide TV commentary for the Super Bowl, was arrested by Miami Beach police Saturday after his girlfriend accused him of choking her and throwing her in the couple's hotel room.

The alleged attack occurred about 5 a.m., after the couple had been partying at Miami Beach's Shore Club hotel, 1901 Collins Ave., the police report said.

The woman — police did not identify her — called authorities at noon Saturday. Officers arrived at the hotel and met with the 37-year-old former NFL star before taking him to police headquarters, said police spokesman Detective Juan Sanchez.

After detectives questioned Sapp and his girlfriend, police charged Sapp with misdemeanor domestic battery. He was taken to Miami-Dade County jail Saturday evening.

Sapp was set to provide commentary for the Super Bowl — but the NFL Network is taking him off the air until the company reviews the incident.

The girlfriend told police she had been sleeping in the couple's hotel room when Sapp came in, pulled her out of bed and demanded that she leave the room. As she began to get dressed, he grabbed her neck and began to choke her, the report said.

He shoved her onto a couch and questioned her about men she listed on her cell phone, then picked her up by her shirt and neck and threw her back down, the report stated.

The tussle continued, the report said, and Sapp eventually pushed her out of the room, where she sought help from someone in the hallway.

The report said he sent her a text message that said, "You whore."

Police reported the woman had bruises on her neck and a swollen right knee. She was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center.

But, according to the report, Sapp told police there was no fight — and that she slipped off the couch after he asked her to leave the room because he was expecting company.

Sapp told detectives he "tried to help her get off the couch, but she fell backwards and fell on her leg," the report stated.

Sapp was a star defensive tackle with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Oakland Raiders before retiring in 2008.

He then competed on ABC's Dancing with the Stars, where he finished in second place. He has his own clothing line, QB Killa, and is a commentator on the NFL Network's GameDay Morning.

The NFL Network is temporarily pulling him off the job.

"In light of these circumstances, Warren Sapp will not appear on NFL Network while we review the matter," the company said in an e-mail to The Miami Herald.

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