METAIRIE, La. — New Orleans Saints linebackers coach Joe Vitt played some defense of his own outside his Metairie home on Saturday morning, chasing away a man and woman who were attempting to steal his car and a neighbor’s car.
Vitt’s efforts took a toll, though. The 61-year-old suffered a torn Achilles tendon and a broken wrist after falling, Saints spokesman Greg Bensel confirmed.
Bensel added that Vitt “never missed a day of work.”
The incident occurred shortly before 4 a.m. on Saturday, according to Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman Col. John Fortunato. Vitt was walking through his kitchen when he noticed a shadow running across his front lawn. When he went outside to investigate, he noticed a white female with blonde hair wearing khaki shorts and gloves attempting to enter a neighbor’s vehicle. Vitt then looked toward his own car and saw a white male inside the vehicle.
When they saw Vitt, they took off running, according to Fortunato. Vitt pursued them on foot for a short distance before tripping and causing injuries that required a trip to the hospital. The suspects remain at large.
Vitt has been a NFL assistant for 37 years, including stints as the Saints’ interim head coach during Sean Payton’s bounty suspension in 2012 and as the St. Louis Rams‘ interim head coach in 2005.