Saints assistant head coach Joe Vitt tore his Achilles tendon and broke his wrist early Saturday morning after falling while chasing two people who were breaking into his and a neighbor’s cars in Old Metairie, his team and the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday.
Nonetheless, Saints spokesman Greg Bensel said Vitt “is fine” and “has not missed any work” after going to a hospital for his injuries.
Vitt was at his home about 3:50 a.m. Saturday when he saw a shadow moving across his front lawn, said Col. John Fortunato, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. The 61-year-old coach stepped outside to investigate and saw a blonde woman wearing gloves about to enter his neighbor’s unlocked car.
Vitt then looked at his own car — which was unlocked as well — and noticed a man was inside it, Fortunato said. The man and woman began running away when they noticed Vitt, and the coach pursued them until he fell to the ground injured.
Vitt was immediately taken to the hospital.
Fortunato asked anyone with information about the people involved in the incident to call Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111 or the Sheriff’s Office at (504) 364-5300.
Vitt has been an assistant with the Saints since coach Sean Payton took over the team in 2006.
He oversees the Saints’ linebackers and was the team’s head coach for 10 games during the 2012 season, going 5-5 while Payton was suspended for the entire year following the “bounty” scandal in which the team was accused of paying bonuses for injuries to opposing players.
Vitt, who was suspended for six games himself after the scandal, played linebacker in college at Towson State University in Maryland.
The Saints-dedicated blog Canal Street Chronicles was the first to report the incident outside Vitt’s home.