News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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March 27, 2014

Police: Colts owner had $29K in cash when arrested

CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay had $29,000 in cash and bottles of prescription drugs in his vehicle when he was arrested on suspicion of intoxicated driving, according to a police arrest report.

The cash was contained in Irsay’s briefcase, wallet and two laundry bags, the report said. The report said bottles containing pills of various colors were stored in the metal briefcase and in bags on the floor of the passenger side.

Irsay denied being drunk when he was arrested in suburban Carmel on March 16, although the 54-year-old billionaire was so disoriented that officers made him sit on the hood of a patrol car to keep him from falling, the report said. The arresting officer said he “believed Irsay to be intoxicated on a substance other than alcohol,” according to the report.

The arrest report listed a dozen pieces of evidence identified as prescription drugs, but did not describe them. Irsay told the officer that he had taken several prescription medications during the day.

The contents of the arrest report by Carmel police were first reported today by The Indianapolis Star, which obtained the report through a public records request.

Irsay’s attorney, James Voyles, and spokeswoman, Myra Borshoff Cook, didn’t immediately return messages from The Associated Press seeking comment this morning.

The report said an officer pulled over Irsay’s slow-moving SUV after it stopped twice on a city street for no apparent reason and failed to use a turn signal. Police said Irsay told the officer that he sometimes has trouble finding his home. The Star reported that Irsay had bought a home less than a half-mile from where he was stopped in late February.

“I observed the vehicle come to a complete stop on W. Main Street for no apparent reason. ... As I was approaching the vehicle it began to slowly move eastbound and came to another complete stop in the lane of travel for no apparent reason. ... I asked him if he knew why I had pulled him over. Irsay advised that he was trying to find his house and gets confused with what road it is located on,” the officer wrote in the report.

Earlier this week, prosecutors postponed an initial court appearance for Irsay “unless or until” formal charges are filed against him. Irsay was booked on preliminary charges of misdemeanor driving while intoxicated and four felony counts of possession of a controlled substance. But Hamilton County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Andre Miksha said prosecutors are not bound by preliminary booking charges.

Irsay’s family said after his arrest that he is undergoing treatment “to help him meet his challenges head-on” at a facility outside of Indiana. They have not identified the facility.

Irsay acknowledged in 2002 that he had become dependent on painkillers after several years of orthopedic operations but said he had overcome the problem after undergoing treatment.  

The report said Irsay failed field sobriety tests and refused a blood draw. A judge approved a search warrant to draw his blood, but those results have not been released. Refusing the blood test means Irsay’s driver’s license will be automatically suspended for one year.

Irsay declined to answer questions without his attorney present and was not questioned at the jail. He was released the following day.

 

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