It’s only preseason; yet, officials have already found a reason to arrest an NFL player for an alleged crime. It is no surprise that professional athletes commonly become targets of criminal charges, and this time, it is a Denver Bronco whose future is on the line.
Broncos kicker Matt Prater was reportedly arrested this month for DUI and leaving the scene of a car crash. Despite the drunk driving charge, Prater managed to have a successful preseason game on Thursday. Perhaps his dedication on the field means he will be dedicated to defending his name and career from the harsh consequences of a potential criminal conviction.
According to news reports, Prater’s arrest stemmed from an incident that occurred on Aug. 2. Various witnesses claim that they saw an SUV hit a parked car and then the SUV driver run from the scene. Officials found items in the car identifying its driver as Prater, and they later found him in a nearby motel.
Prater was subjected to sobriety tests, which he allegedly failed. His BAC level reportedly measured at 0.142. He is officially charged with DUI and leaving the scene of the accident. When asked why he fled after the crash, he says that he was scared of the seemingly hostile witnesses.
A criminal charge can put a professional’s job at risk. When it’s a famous athlete at the center of a criminal case, his alleged offense is broadcast for everyone to see and hear about. Prater is feeling the pressure of that reality and reportedly worries that he will lose his job over the recent incident.
Representatives of the Broncos have not denied nor confirmed that fear.
7News: “Prater Also Accused Of Leaving Scene Of Accident,” Kim Nguyen, Aug. 12, 2011