Broncos Kicker Matt Prater Arrested On DUI Charge

Prater Also Accused Of Leaving Scene Of Accident

Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater was arrested last week on charges of driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of a crash after witnesses said they saw him hit a car and then run into a hotel.

The incident occurred around 3 a.m. on Aug. 2, according to police documents first obtained by 7NEWS.

7NEWS confirmed with Greenwood Village police that Prater's blood-alcohol content level was recorded as 0.142. That's nearly twice the .08 limit considered driving under the influence.

According to the police report, four witnesses said they saw a purple Chevrolet Trailblazer back into a parked silver sedan in the parking lot of the Hyatt Summerfield Suites at East Costilla Avenue and South Clinton Street.

They yelled at the driver and tried to get him to stop but he fled into the lobby of the hotel, according to the police report.

The witnesses -- four men who were in from Michigan to work as IKEA security guards -- then called Greenwood Village police.

Officers responded and noted that the Trailblazer was a rental vehicle. In the back seat was a large unzipped duffel bag with five to seven footballs inside and in the front window was a Broncos Dove Valley parking permit with Prater's name on it, according to the police report.

Prater Was With Woman From Shotgun Willie's

Officers went into the Hyatt looking for the driver and interviewed a 22-year-old woman near the lobby area. She told police she was the passenger inside the Trailblazer when it struck the other vehicle.

She said she and her friend had been coming from Shotgun Willie's, where she works, and drove to the Hyatt to get a room but the hotel was full.

She said her friend's name was Matt P. She could not remember his last name.

She said she didn't know where Matt was at the time and was unable to call him because her phone was dead and she was waiting for a cab home.

Officers asked the clerk at the front desk if a Matt Prater was checked in at the hotel, but the clerk did not have a record of him. The clerk said a man matching Prater's description tried to check in, but the hotel was booked for the night.

Officers first went to a nearby restaurant, then the La Quinta Inn down the street, where they discovered Prater had checked in.

Police Gave Sobriety Test In Hotel Room

Officers found Prater in a room on the third floor, reeking of alcohol, his eyes bloodshot and watery, according to the police report.

"Slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, an odor of alcoholic beverage on or about their breath or person; all those things were present," said Greenwood Village Police Chief John Jackson.

Prater admitted to officers he was driving the Trailblazer at the time of the crash and had not had any alcoholic beverages after it. He said he last consumed alcohol at 7 p.m., with dinner.

When asked why he didn't leave a note when he hit the car, he said because the witnesses were confrontational and he didn't think to call police.

The officers performed field sobriety tests on Prater in his room and he stumbled and failed at several of the tests, according to the police report.

He was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of an accident and two misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence, according to police.

Police: Prater: 'I'm Going To Lose My Job'

While he was being booked at the Greenwood Village jail, he told officers, "I really messed up ... I'm going to lose my job ... I deserve this," according to the police record.

Prater did not go to jail. Instead, he was cited and released.

"There is no mandate here that we would book him or must book him into the county jail. Actually it's more commonly that we don't," Jackson said.

"Was there any preferential treatment for him being a Denver Bronco?" asked 7NEWS reporter Marshall Zelinger.

"Absolutely not. We treated this man just like anybody else, and it's a very (rare) occurrence if we have someone that is a Colorado resident, that is cooperative, provides all the proper identification, that we will cite and release," said Jackson. "I have to believe that my officer took the appropriate action based on the investigation and the evidence that they have, and it wouldn't have mattered if he was the president of the United States," said Jackson.

Broncos Security VP Picked Up Prater

The police report states that Prater was released to the Denver Broncos' chief of security, David Abrams.

The Broncos issued a statement Friday that said, "Our organization is disappointed with the poor judgment shown by Matt Prater on Aug. 2. This matter, which was addressed with the team last week, continues to be thoroughly reviewed internally."

7NEWS asked a Broncos spokesman how it was addressed with the team, but the spokesman would not elaborate.

7NEWS was also not given a response when we asked if it's normal procedure for a Broncos player to contact a team representative when in trouble.

Repeated messages left for Prater went unreturned Friday.

Prater Scored 11 Points In Thursday's Preseason Game

Prater was the team's high scorer during the Broncos' first preseason game Thursday night. He scored 11 points with three field goals and two extra points.

He has been with the team for five years and re-signed with the Broncos in late July.

7NEWS broke this story at 1:08 p.m. Be sure to stay on top of all local breaking news stories by signing up for our e-mail alerts.

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