Warren Sapp was arrested after police say he solicited and assaulted at least one prostitute early Monday morning at a hotel in downtown Phoenix, where he had been covering the Super Bowl for the NFL Network hours earlier.
The former All-Pro defensive tackle for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Oakland Raiders had begun arguing over money with two women in a hotel room, and the argument soon spilled into the hallway and turned physical, police said.
Sapp, 42, admitted to having hired a prostitute but denied assaulting the women, police said. Both women had minor injuries that appeared to have resulted from a struggle, according to investigators.
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Sapp was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on misdemeanor charges of soliciting prostitution and two counts of assault.
It was not immediately clear whether he had a lawyer.
“Warren Sapp has been suspended indefinitely without pay from NFL Network pending the outcome of ongoing police investigation,'' Alex Riethmiller, a spokesman for the network, said in a statement Monday.
One of the women was cited for prostitution and released, and the other was cited for violating the city's escort permit requirements and released, police said.
Sapp, who played for the Raiders from 2004 until 2008, now works as an analyst for the NFL Network. He was in Arizona over the weekend to cover Sunday's Super Bowl.
Sapp played college football for the University of Miami until he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 1995. Prior to the 2004 season, Sapp signed with the Raiders, the same team he had helped defeat in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Sapp has had a history with legal troubles around the Super Bowl. He was arrested the day before the Super Bowl in 2010 on a domestic battery charge, but prosecutors later dropped the case because of inconsistences between the victim's statements and evidence, including surveillance video.
Despite making millions in his playing career, Sapp filed for bankruptcy in 2012 in Florida after owing more than $6.7 million to creditors and back child support and alimony.
In Monday's incident, Phoenix police officers working security at a downtown hotel were investigating a noise disturbance about 2:30 a.m. when they were contacted by a woman alleging she had been assaulted.
"The incident was alleged to have occurred in a guest room, after meeting in the lobby while she and another female were there as escorts,'' said Sgt. Trent Crump, a police spokesman. ``During a meeting in the room, an argument ensued, allegedly over money and the altercation turned physical, spilling out into the hallway. During the investigation, detectives were able to establish that an act of prostitution occurred in the room by at least one of the females.''
Crump said Sapp was taken to police headquarters and questioned ``and admitted involvement in the act of prostitution, but denied assaulting the females. Minor injuries consistent with a struggle were observed by investigators on both females.''
The Associated Press contributed to this report.