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Vikings' Moss apologizes for traffic incident
By Tom Scheck
Minnesota Public Radio
September 26, 2002

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss has been charged with two misdemeanors in connection with an altercation with a traffic officer in Minneapolis. Moss bumped the officer with his SUV and knocked the officer down. Moss spent the night in the Hennepin County jail but was released. Moss was arrested and originally held on suspicion of a felony assault charge, one that could have landed him in jail for nearly two years.

Randy Moss
Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss apologized to his team, family and fans at a Thursday news conference, after being charged for pushing a traffic control officer with his car in downtown Minneapolis Tuesday night. Listen to his news conference.
(MPR Photo/Tom Scheck)

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Randy Moss spoke to reporters Thursday, one day after he was let out of jail for allegedly pushing a traffic control officer a half a block with his car in downtown Minneapolis. The Minneapolis city attorney has charged Moss with two misdemeanors.

Moss says he's apologized to his teammates, coaches and family. He also said he wanted to apologize to his fans and the companies that endorse him.

Minneapolis police say they also found a marijuana cigarette in Moss' car. They say the amount of the illegal drug amounts to a petty misdemeanor. No charges have immediately been filed.

As a result of the traffic incident, Moss spent one night in jail. Moss did not apologize to the traffic control officer he allegedly pushed down the street with his car.

Vikings officials say Moss will be disciplined for missing the morning practice. Several media outlets are reporting that Moss will be fined $50,000 by the team and the National Football League.

Tice says Moss will play on Sunday night against the Seattle Seahawks. The Minneapolis City Attorney's office has charge Moss with one count of careless driving and one count of failure to obey a traffic control officer.

Vikings coach Mike Tice said he spoke briefly with Moss, who asked his coach to get him out of jail.
(MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)

This is not the first time Moss has been in trouble with the law and the NFL. He squirted a referee with a water bottle in 1999, which resulted in a $25,000 fine from the NFL. Last season he verbally abused corporate sponsors on the team bus and was fined $15,000 and was forced to attend anger management classes.

Before entering the NFL, Moss had served jail time for battery and for violating probation by being caught smoking marijuana.

"I'm disappointed, I'm disappointed. I can't go any further than to say I'm disappointed," said Vikings head coach Mike Tice, who is still looking for his first win of his pro-football coaching career and is trying to get the Vikings out of a slump.

Tice, a former offensive line coach, has a close relationship with Moss and had counted on him to be a team leader this year. He says until this point, Moss was fulfilling that role.

Defensive back Corey Chavous says the team can't let this keep them from turning their season around.
(MPR Photo/Brandt Williams)

"I really believe -- and I think many in the media who have followed the team over years and that I've talked to privately believe -- that Randy has done an outstanding job in the community, done an outstanding job dealing with the media and outstanding job dealing with adversity on the football field, triple-team, double-team...and that he was making great strides in maturing as a man and as a football player," Tice said.

Defensive back Corey Chavous says the team can't let this keep them from turning their season around.

"When you look at the season we're in right now and the situation we're in, we really can't afford to be distracted too much and that means it's going to take an extra amount of focus from everybody, each individual to pull the ship together and I think we'll do a good job of that," said Chavous.

Minnesota Public Radio reporters Brandt Williams and Elizabeth Stawicki contributed to this story.