Son of Broncos owner arrested on domestic violence charges

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) John Bowlen Jr., the 29-year-old son of Denver Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and an administrative employee of the team, has been placed on indefinite leave following his arrest on domestic violence charges.

The younger Bowlen was arrested Wednesday night in the Denver suburb of Glendale on suspicion of third-degree assault and harassment after allegedly pushing his girlfriend against a bathroom wall, police said.

After being held overnight at the Arapahoe County Jail, which is next to the Broncos' suburban headquarters, Bowlen was released Thursday on $1,000 bond. The judge said he had to stay sober, couldn't handle firearms and was allowed contact with the alleged victim but that they couldn't live together. His next court hearing is scheduled for July 6.

''We are disappointed to learn of the matter involving John Bowlen,'' the Broncos said in a statement, adding, ''While this is a personal issue, he is accountable to all club and league conduct policies. As such, John will be placed on an indefinite leave of absence from the organization.''

Bowlen's lawyer, Harvey Steinberg, was in court Thursday and didn't immediately return a call seeking comment.

The Broncos were one of the first teams in the NFL to conduct mandatory domestic violence training for all employees last year. They held sessions at both their suburban headquarters and at their stadium near downtown.

Bowlen, who is a marketing assistant with the team based out of Sports Authority Field, was required to attend the seminars.

Bowlen is a candidate to take over the team from his father, who is suffering from Alzheimer's. Pat Bowlen relinquished his duties almost a year ago. Team president and CEO Joe Ellis is running the team in the meantime. He said last month that the transfer of ownership to one of Bowlen's seven children was still a ways off.

According to a Glendale police affidavit, officers were sent to Bowlen's apartment after a report of a 911 hang-up. They heard a man yelling and a woman crying when they arrived at the apartment. Upon entering, Bowlen told officers, ''I didn't do anything wrong! I didn't do anything and I'm going to call Harvey (Steinberg),'' the affidavit said.

Police said the woman came out of the bathroom and told them Bowlen had become enraged when she mentioned ''contacting `help' for Bowlen when he made comments to kill someone he had a prior conflict with.''

The woman told police that Bowlen was under the influence of alcohol and ''whippets,'' a nitrous oxide-filled cartridge that users inhale to get high.

The woman said she told Bowlen she was going to call 911 because of his behavior and went into the bathroom to make the call. She said Bowlen ran in and shoved her against the wall, causing her to drop her cellphone. She told police she wasn't hurt but feared for her safety.

When the dispatcher called the number back, Bowlen answered and said he was the owner of the Broncos and that nothing was wrong. Meanwhile, a woman could be heard yelling in the background, police said.

Bowlen was arrested and taken to the Glendale Police Department for processing. He was then taken to the Arapahoe County Jail.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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Follow AP Pro Football Writer Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton.

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