Everson Griffen’s behavior a concern for some time
Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen was growing increasingly paranoid and feared someone was trying to kill him in the weeks and days before troubling incidents Saturday sent law enforcement looking for him, according to police reports released Tuesday.
The behavior prompted the Vikings to ban a disruptive Griffen last week from practice and seek mental health treatment, the reports said, which also noted that the 30-year-old husband and father is not suspected of a crime.
By the end of Saturday afternoon, Griffen was taken in an ambulance to a mental health facility, but not before another outburst prompted police to intervene and escort him to the emergency vehicles’ destination.
Griffen first drew police attention about 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, where the three-time Pro Bowl player was threatening to assault staff employees, according to a Minneapolis police incident report.
Emergency audio dispatch revealed as events unfolded that Griffen “said that if someone doesn’t let him in his room that he is going to shoot someone,” but no gun was seen.
An officer met with Griffen’s wife Saturday, and she said he had become combative and been without sleep for days. He had left his Minnetrista home and had been staying at the Hotel Ivy during the week. The officer called Griffen on his cellphone, and he said he was going to be gone for about a week and was rambling incoherently before hanging up.
Police learned from Vikings player development director Les Pico that Griffen “has been really struggling for the past few weeks,” the police reports read. Pico said Griffen “has been explosive, screaming and yelling” at practice, the reports continued. Pico called Griffen paranoid and prone to repeating himself.
The team, according to the reports, notified Griffen and his agent Thursday that the defensive star was banned from practice until his mental health is evaluated.
Griffen’s wife then called and said he was at teammate Trae Waynes’ home down the road. Griffen had jumped through bushes and was shirtless. Within minutes, Griffen’s wife notified police that he was in a pickup truck with someone who didn’t know what to do with him. The man had encountered Griffen at a gas station, and delivered him home.
Police met Griffen outside late Saturday afternoon, and he was making comments about “777” — having to do with angels — and that he went to Waynes’ home because “God made me do it.”
Griffen agreed with the officer to be taken for mental health treatment. But soon after the ambulance was en route, Griffen fled the vehicle. By the time police arrived, he had returned and had his hands in the air. Eventually, he agreed to continue the trip under police escort.
He remained Tuesday in a health care facility for treatment, multiple sources confirmed.