Saints coach breaks wrist, tears tendon trying to confront burglars

Published: Oct. 21, 2015 at 1:45 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:57 PM CDT
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METAIRIE, LA (WVUE) - A Saints coach tore his Achilles tendon and broke a wrist trying to stop a pair from burglarizing his car.

He's known for his fiery temper and passion on the sidelines, but now Joe Vitt can add another notch to his belt: crime fighter.

"It shows he's a strong individual willing to put his life on the line to protect his stuff and other people's stuff," Old Metairie resident Mark Colomb said.

A police report from the Jefferson Parish Sheriff's Office says Saturday just before 4 a.m., Vitt walked downstairs in his Old Metairie home and saw someone running across his front yard.

Andrea Legrand with the Livingston Place Neighborhood Association, explains, "He actually saw them, I think, coming from across the street, then he saw them in the neighbor's car next door and then he realized they were in his car, and that's when he chased them."

"It seems like an impulse move. I might do the same thing," Colomb said.

Neighbor Mike Monahan says, "I can understand his frustration and anger. I don't know that I would've done the same thing, but you never know."

The chase didn't last long. The coach fell, and according to the Saints, broke his wrist and tore his Achilles tendon.

The burglars took $40 from a wallet inside one of the cars, and the sense of security that so many residents of the Livingston Place subdivision used to have.

"Pretty creepy just to know there are people like that outside of your home," Monahan said.

Ken Domilise adds, "You just don't really feel safe, you try to do what you can as a reasonable person. It's just under these circumstances, it's unbelievable."

The Livingston Place Neighborhood Association already had plans to put up surveillance cameras on light poles and other fixtures, but after this incident, they say they're even more motivated to do so, and quickly.

"Hopefully it'll prevent it or catch the people who are doing this," Legrand said.

While Andrea Legrand says it'll take a few weeks to get the cameras, it only took Joe Vitt a few hours to return to work, a little batter and bruised, but with the added respect of the Who Dat nation.

The sheriff's office says both Vitt's vehicle and his neighbor's car were unlocked.

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