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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Sapp is latest Hawkeye arrested

Tuesday, August 6, 2002

IOWA CITY--Defensive back Benny Sapp has been suspended indefinitely from the Iowa football team after becoming the university's latest athlete cited for drug- or alcohol-related violations.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz announced the suspension Monday and said he was evaluating Sapp's future with the team.

Sapp, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was arrested early Sunday and charged with interference with official acts, disorderly conduct and public intoxication following an incident at the pedestrian mall in downtown Iowa City.

Sapp, who'll be a junior this fall, is at least the 10th athlete, including the eighth football player, to be cited since last fall. Two basketball players also were arrested.

"I am disappointed with Benny's behavior and I will give serious thought over the next few days as to his future with our team," Ferentz said in a statement.

Sapp will not be with the team when players report for preseason practice on Thursday, Ferentz said.

Ferentz recently held meetings with players over the alcohol charges and vowed to toughen team sanctions for offenders. Basketball coach Steve Alford has introduced a 9 p.m. player curfew for downtown Iowa City, a haven of bars and restaurants frequented by students.

Iowa athletic director Bob Bowlsby has said recent events have triggered a review of the athletic department's decades-old discipline policy.

According to the police report, Sapp, 21, was arrested at 2:14 a.m. Sunday.

Police patrolling the pedestrian mall saw Sapp push a young woman into a building, causing her to hit her head against a window.

When officers approached Sapp, he became belligerent, and seemed to undergo mood swings, according to the report. A breath test showed his blood alcohol level at 0.155 percent. The legal standard for intoxication is 0.10 percent.

When the officers attempted to place Sapp under arrest he repeatedly pulled away from them.

"The officers had to use pepper spray to subdue him," said watch commander Lt. Jim Steffen.

According to Steffen, Sapp was taken to the hospital for decontamination, common practice after exposure to the spray. He subsequently was taken to the Johnson County Jail, and was released on his own recognizance at 10 a.m. Sunday.

According to the report, Sapp and the woman he pushed know each other, although the extent of their relationship was not known. There were no injuries reported.

All three of Sapp's charges are simple misdemeanors. He faces a maximum 30 days in jail and possible fines.

This was the second time in less than a month that Sapp appeared in a police report.

He was inadvertently cut under the left arm by a broken bottle during a July 14 incident at the Press Box bar in southeast Iowa City. Press Box owner Ed Mead defended Sapp, saying Sapp was trying to avoid an argument in which he was not involved.

Sapp, who will be a junior, played in all 12 games last fall. He made 49 tackles, intercepted three passes and shared the team lead with 12 passes broken up.



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