Thursday, November 19, 2009

Star Says NFL Probing Pats Security Chief Run-in with NBC Camera Operator

If you were watching the Indianapolis Colts-New England Patriots game on Sunday and stayed up until the end of it, you might have seen Patriots coach Bill Belichick do his quicker-than-quick handshake with Jim Caldwell and make a beeline for the locker room.

As the coach was leaving the field, NBC cameras were jockeying for position to get a good angle of him. One of those cameras was run by a man the Indianapolis Star identifies as Peter Stendel. As Stendel is getting into position, it appears he has trouble with his cabling and comes near the Patriots' Chief of Security Mark Briggs. Briggs puts his hand on Sendel and contributes to Sendel falling to the turf or pushes him down. The Indianapolis Star says that the NFL is investigating the incident following the Pats' 35-34 loss to Indy on Sunday.

Here is a YouTube video of what happened.

This doesn't appear to be the first incident for Briggs. From the Associated Press reported by ESPN on August 31:

WARWICK, R.I. -- A former Providence police officer is suing the New England Patriots after the team revoked his season tickets when his wife tried to auction their seats on eBay.

John Reis, 47, is an 18-year season ticket holder with three seats in the 34th row of Gillette Stadium at the 50-yard line.

Now he finds himself involved in two separate court actions with the team. He's suing the Patriots in federal court for the return of his tickets and damages, and has filed a criminal assault and battery complaint against Patriots security chief Mark Briggs.

''I was never late with a payment. The price went up more than 100 percent, and I didn't blink an eyelash,'' Reis told The Boston Globe.

Team spokesman Stacey James declined to comment on the lawsuit. Briggs' attorney, Daniel Goldberg, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Reis and his wife, Lisa, planned a vacation for their anniversary that would cause him to miss the Patriots' Oct. 13 home game against the Green Bay Packers.

At her brother's suggestion, Lisa Reis put the tickets up for sale on the online auction site eBay. When the bidding ended in early June, the high bid was $851, more than three times the face value for the three tickets.

The transaction was never completed, however, and the Reises never collected the money, according to their attorney, Sean McAteer.

Two days after the auction, Reis got a letter from Briggs and the Patriots saying that his season ticket privileges had been revoked because he'd violated a team policy banning the resale of tickets to a third party.

Reis says he called and wrote to Briggs, but the security director refused to back down. One secretary told Reis that he could go to the bottom of a waiting list -- behind 50,000 others.

Finally, Reis and McAteer were able to schedule a meeting with Briggs at the team's corporate offices in Foxboro, Mass.

Reis and McAteer say Briggs flew into a rage when he saw that Reis was accompanied by an attorney. He allegedly ripped Reis' shirt while tearing off his visitor badge and ordered the pair escorted from the building.

On the way home from that meeting, Reis, a former Providence police lieutenant who now works for the Rhode Island attorney general's office, blacked out and crashed his car on a Rte. 95 off-ramp. He spent two days in the hospital, where doctors diagnosed the blackout as a fainting spell induced by extreme stress.

On Tuesday, a clerk magistrate in Wrentham District Court found probable cause to proceed with the criminal assault complaint against Briggs.

At a hearing scheduled for next week in U.S. District Court, McAteer will ask a judge for a temporary injunction that would return Reis' seats to him in time for the Patriots' regular-season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 9.

''There is nothing in the team rules that says anything about the attempted selling of tickets,'' McAteer said. ''There was no sale here.''

Nothing particular political here; it's just interesting what you can find on the internet. Oh yeah...and Bill Belichick is a Republican campaign contributor...Even more reason to dislike the coach.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Hate Belichick, but being a republican has nothing to do with the incident. It was an ass move by his bodyguard. Go Colts!