Sunday, March 9, 2014
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — Former NFL star defensive back Darren Sharper has been arrested on suspicion of rape, the Los Angeles Police Department said.
Sharper, who played 14 seasons in the NFL with Green Bay, Minnesota and New Orleans, was arrested and booked Friday and released on $200,000 bail just before midnight. He faces a Feb. 14 court appearance.
LAPD said it is investigating Sharper in connection with two sexual assaults that occurred in October and earlier this month in the West Los Angeles area.
New Orleans Police Department spokeswoman Remi Braden said Saturday in a statement that NOPD is also investigating an allegation of sexual assault filed against Sharper on Sept. 24.
Sharper, 38, played in the NFL from 1997-2010, mostly with the Packers. He retired after the 2010 season.
Sharper was selected All-Pro six times and chosen for the Pro Bowl five times. He played in two Super Bowls, one with the Packers as a rookie and a second with the Saints after the 2009 season.
He has been working as an analyst for the NFL Network.
“Darren has been suspended without pay until further notice, effective immediately,” said Alex Riethmiller, spokesman for NFL Network, in an email Saturday.
The Vikings’ Metrodome has deflated for the last time.
Officials from the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority opened the stadium’s relief vents to begin the deflation at 7:15 a.m. Saturday in downtown Minneapolis. Fans providing the air that supports the roof were turned off. The 10 acres of Teflon-coated fabric were done deflating in 35 minutes.
Bill McCarthy, vice chairman of the authority, called it “a sad and exciting day at the same time.” The deflation and the demolition of the Dome beginning next week will make way for construction of a new $1 billion Vikings stadium.
The muffin-shaped dome opened in 1982 and was once a focal point of Minnesota professional sports. In addition to being the home field for the Vikings and the Twins, the Timberwolves played their first NBA season in the Metrodome in 1989.
The authority gave the go-ahead despite concerns about weather conditions. Winds were a steady 5 to 10 mph Saturday morning.
The roof silently deflated under gray, snowy skies, sagging first in the middle. When the process was done, the stadium looked like a concave dish, rimmed with snow.
The morning snow was both a help and a safety concern, said Steve Maki, the authority’s director of facilities and engineering.
“We moved it up to do it as soon as we were ready,” he said, noting officials were concerned that if the winds increased, the deflation would have been delayed.
Officials were worried that stiff winds could have turned the roof into “a big sail,” Maki said.