Police: Colts’ Irsay had $29K in cash during arrest, could barely stand up

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HAMILTON COUNTY (March 27, 2014) – Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay could barely stand or talk clearly when stopped by a Carmel police officer earlier this month, new documents reveal.

FOX59 obtained police reports related to Irsay’s arrest after a public records request to the Carmel Police Department.

According to those documents, Irsay, 54, was carrying more than $29,000 in cash. The money was in a briefcase and laundry bag where investigators also found numerous bottles of prescription drugs. Irsay was driving a silver Toyota Highlander on March 16 when he was pulled over for erratic driving.

According to a report from the Carmel Police Department, Irsay was going 10 mph in a 35 mph zone near Horesferry Road and Main Street when he was pulled over around 11:40 p.m. The officer saw Irsay stop his car on Main Street “for no apparent reason,” according to the report. The car then continued forward and stopped again. Irsay turned onto Horseferry Road without using his signal, the report said. The odd behavior prompted the officer to initiate a traffic stop.

Local criminal defense attorney, Jack Crawford says information revealed in this police report is a game changer.

“It indicates erratic behavior. A person of his stature wouldn’t be carrying that much cash with him in a laundry bag setting himself up as a potential victim of a robbery
it shows his though process was impaired,” said Crawford.

Irsay declined to take a blood test although he submitted to a portable breathalyzer test. The responding officer said he suspected Irsay was “intoxicated on a substance other than alcohol.”

Irsay was arrested on preliminary charges of operating while intoxicated and four counts of possession of a controlled substance. A hearing scheduled for Wednesday was postponed at the request of his attorneys. After his arrest, Irsay sought treatment at an out-of-state medical facility.

Irsay said he “gets confused with what road (his home) is located on” when the officer asked him what happened. The officer then told Irsay he’d pulled him over because he’d failed to use his turn signal. When asked for his driver’s license, Irsay searched through his brief case for his wallet. The officer “observed prescription bottles in the brief case next to his wallet.”

Irsay’s speech was “very slow and slurred,” the police report said, and Irsay “appeared to be disoriented.” The officer described Irsay’s eyes as “red and watery” and said the Colts owner showed “poor manual dexterity.”

The officer called for a second unit to assist with field sobriety tests because Irsay “demonstrated behavior of being intoxicated” and requested a sergeant to help with the investigation “due to Irsay’s public profile,” the report said.

The officer asked Irsay if he’d had anything to drink; Irsay said he hadn’t. When the officer asked Irsay if he’d taken any prescription medicine, Irsay “advised (the officer of) several medications that he had taken during the day.”

The officer asked Irsay to recite part of the alphabet, starting with “C” and ending at “N.” Irsay stopped at “M” on his first attempt. On his second attempt, he started at “C” and continued through the letter “Z,” and then “recited the letters I, N and G.” When asked to count backwards from 103 to 78, Irsay continued until he reached 49, and the officer told him he could stop counting, the report said.

Officers noticed Irsay was unsteady on his feet when he got out of the Highlander. They had to hold him as he attempted field sobriety tests. Two officers “continuously had to support Irsay in order to prevent him from falling over,” the report said. The officers terminated the field sobriety tests out of concern for Irsay’s safety, the report said. At one point, they let him sit on the hood of a squad car so he could take one of the tests.

When he was taken to the Hamilton County Jail, Irsay refused a blood draw. A warrant was obtained, and a nurse took two vials of blood. Irsay’s license was taken away for refusing the test—Indiana law stipulates that refusal to submit to a test results in a suspension of a person’s driving privileges.

Irsay wouldn’t answer questions in jail without his attorney, the report said.

Inside Irsay’s Highlander, police found several prescription medicine bottles with pills inside. He had about $14,500 in a brief case, $2,500 in his wallet and $12,000 in a laundry bag kept on the floor. Police found two bags containing pills inside the briefcase.

The police reports did not identify the medication, although court documents said the investigating officer concluded that Irsay was intoxicated with CNS depressants—a class of drugs that includes tranquilizers and sedatives like Xanax, Valium, Ambien and Darvocet.

This isn’t Irsay’s first issue involving prescription drugs and Crawford says that could play a major role in this case.

“Irsay’s past could be an issue in this case. Apparently in 2002 he had a similar situation with impairment through prescription drugs and not it seems the same situation
and once again driving an automobile that creates a danger to other people,” said Crawford.

No formal charges have been filed against Irsay. His oldest daughter, Carlie Irsay-Gordon, is overseeing the Colts in her father’s place.

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