Denver Broncos Heir John Bowlen Arrested for DUI in California | Westword


Broncos Heir John Bowlen's DUI Dumbassery Leads to Arrest Warrant

John Bowlen, son of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, has been named in a Colorado arrest warrant following his weekend arrest in California for driving under the influence; see our previous coverage below. In the document, also accessible here, Arapahoe Count Judge Darren Louis Vahle counts five ways in which the younger Bowlen violated his probation for a domestic violence incident involving booze and whippets back in 2015.
John Bowlen got into trouble out of state — and now he's in more trouble at home.
John Bowlen got into trouble out of state — and now he's in more trouble at home. 9News file photo
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Update: John Bowlen, son of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, has been named in a Colorado arrest warrant following his weekend arrest in California for driving under the influence; see our previous coverage below. In the document, also accessible here, Arapahoe County Court Judge Darren Louis Vahle counts five ways in which the younger Bowlen violated his probation for a domestic-violence incident involving booze and whippets back in 2015.

Bowlen's probationary term is set to last 24 months, but it only kicked in circa March of this year, after the Colorado Supreme Court rejected his appeal of a conviction for misdemeanor harassment — strike/shove/kick. Since then, he has apparently done zip to live up to its requirements, as is clear from Judge Vahle's hilariously deadpan order.

In the warrant, Vahle lists five pledges made by Bowlen regarding his probationary sentence, then points out how he appears to have violated each and every one of them. We've used bold and italics not in the original document to highlight the contrast.

Count 1: "I will abide by all local, state and federal laws and will report any contact with law enforcement to my probation officer."

California Highway Patrol in San Louis Obispo County records reflect charges were filed against the defendant in case number M16674017 on July 30, 2017, for two counts of driving under the influence. The probation officer has no further information at this time.

Count 2: "I will report to my probation officer for appointments, as directed by the court or the probation office. I understand that my probation officer can visit me at reasonable times at home or elsewhere. I will provide probation safe access to my residence."

The Supreme Court denied the Petition for Writ of Certiorari on March 27, 2017, and the defendant has not reported to the probation department nor has the defendant had any correspondence with the probation department since the ruling.

Count 3: "I will comply with any other requirements of my probation officer in order to meet the conditions imposed by the Court, including answering all reasonable questions asked by my probation officer."

The defendant was court-ordered to complete 24 hours of community service. As of this writing, the probation officer has not received verification of completion of the court-ordered hours.

On April 14, 2016, the defendant was ordered to pay court costs and fines totaling $1,287.50. As of this writing, the defendant has not made any more payments toward his court costs, and $1,287.50 remains due.

Count 4: "I will actively participate in, cooperate with and successfully complete any referral, evaluation, assessment or recommended program. These programs may include, but are not limited to: placement in a residential or outpatient program, counseling or treatment for drugs or alcohol, mental health, domestic violence, cognitive behavioral, offense specific or anger management. I will sign any necessary releases of information, and I understand I am responsible for the costs of treatment and services unless other arrangements have been made through my probation officer."

The defendant was court-ordered to complete domestic-violence, drug and alcohol evaluation, treatment and a mental-health evaluation. As of this writing, the probation officer has not received verification of enrollment or completion of the court-ordered treatment.

Count 5: "I will obtain written permission from the court or my probation officer before leaving Colorado."

The defendant was contacted by California Highway Patrol on July 30, 2017; the defendant did not have permission from the probation department to leave the state of Colorado.

The bond in the case (beyond the $1,287.50 already owed) is a mere $250, which we have a strong feeling Bowlen should be able to afford. All of his actions to date, including his assorted references to his daddy at the time of his busts, suggest that he believes his birthright has put him above the law. But the law begs to differ. Click to read the complete John Bowlen arrest warrant. Continue to see our previous coverage.

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John Bowlen's latest booking photo.
San Luis Obispo County Sheriff's Office
Original post, 5:50 a.m. August 1: The latest arrest of John Bowlen, this time for driving under the influence in California, is the latest embarrassment associated with the ne'er-do-well son of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen, who gave up control of the team in 2014 after publicly acknowledging that he's battling Alzheimer's. But anyone who thinks a second bust, following a domestic-violence incident involving booze and whippets two years ago, permanently disqualifies John from becoming the owner of the team himself at some point in the future is woefully naive.

As we've reported, the June 13, 2015, contretemps took place in an apartment at 4550 Cherry Creek Drive South.

Bowlen's girlfriend of ten months told police in Glendale, which has jurisdiction in the area, that she'd dialed 911 because after drinking and inhaling whippets, John had announced that he'd killed someone.

Who? Supposedly someone "with whom he'd had prior contact" — and his statement apparently freaked out his girlfriend enough to make her run to the bathroom and punch in the aforementioned three digits.

The arrest report in the matter maintains that John reacted by shoving her against a wall, causing her to drop her cell phone, which he then grabbed.

John Bowlen on the sidelines of a Broncos game a few years back.
9News file photo
Moments later, the 911 operator rang the line and John answered. He told the operator, "This is the owner of the Denver Broncos. I am sorry. Nothing is wrong. This is John Bowlen; Johnny Bowlen."

By the way, Bowlen was working as a corporate-partnerships coordinator for the Broncos at the time.

The "nothing is wrong" assertion might have been more convincing had a woman not been heard screaming in the background. No wonder the cops rushed to the scene. The affidavit says she was crying in the bathroom upon officers' arrival and was "in fear for her safety and in shock at the time."

During the phone call, Bowlen also called himself the "blood of the city," whatever that means, talked up his friendship with Mayor Michael Hancock, referenced what he's been through taking care of his father, maintained that his girlfriend had dialed 911 because "she is crazy" and had consumed seven beers despite weighing just 95 pounds, and declared, “I didn’t do anything wrong! I didn’t do anything, and I’m going to call Harvey."

That's Harvey Steinberg, the attorney of choice for generations of Broncos in trouble. But despite Steinberg's legal wizardry, Bowlen was still found guilty by a jury in Arapahoe County in April 2016. The sentence: 24 months' probation as well as evaluations for drugs, alcohol and mental health, plus what the 18th Judicial District DA's office referred to as domestic-violence "treatment and evolution."

This wrist slap was apparently too much for Bowlen, who appealed the conviction based on a technicality involving the alleged absence of a statute number on his citation. But Arapahoe County District Court Judge John Wheeler sacked that argument, and when Bowlen tried to push his beef to the next level, the Colorado Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

John Bowlen's 2015 Glendale mug shot.
Glendale Police Department
The next chapter in Bowlen's story was broken by TMZ — never a good sign. Beginning just shy of 1:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30, in the California county of San Luis Obispo, 911 calls reportedly started coming in about a driver so dangerous — the speed of his Jeep Cherokee is said to have exceeded 100 miles per hour — that five California State Patrolmen were dispatched to find him. Around 45 minutes later, Bowlen was finally nabbed, and according to arresting officers, he immediately tried playing the do-you-know-who-my-dad-is card again.

Shockingly enough given the Cali locale, this tactic didn't work, and a supposedly uncooperative Bowlen was taken into custody on suspicion of DUI and reckless driving. Seized at the same time was a cocker spaniel puppy named Duke that had come along for the ride.

Yes, the puppy's okay, and Bowlen, whose blood alcohol level registered at .08, the standard for driving while intoxicated, bonded out yesterday, July 31. But more interesting than the next stage of his legal drama will be the potential impact that another unhappy interaction with the cops will have on the possibility of John eventually taking over from Pat as Broncos owner.

Because John is not currently a Broncos employee, the NFL won't get directly involved in the California case. But the league would have to approve his inheritance of the squad, especially if he wanted to be in charge of day-to-day operations. That may not be necessary, given that Pat has more kids: daughters Brittany, Christiana and Annabel, plus another son, Patrick. Besides, John can inoculate himself against damage from these incidents by going to rehab — bet an announcement about that is just around the corner. And if he slips in the future, he'll probably get a pass, albeit with a little public-relations window dressing. Note that Indianapolis Colts owner Robert Irsay was fined $500,000 and suspended for six games by the NFL following a March 2014 DUI conviction but allowed to remain in the ownership fraternity.

Irony alert: Irsay's suspension went into effect just prior to a Colts-Broncos game the following September.

In short, John Bowlen could still become the owner of your Denver Broncos, no matter how many stupid things he does while Pat's still with us. Get used to seeing his face — and, if his luck (and behavior) doesn't improve, his mug shots.
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