Jim Irsay found unresponsive in Carmel home

CARMEL, Ind. – Emergency responders found Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay unresponsive and laboring to breathe when called to his home in Carmel last month in what a police report logged as a suspected “overdose.”

According to records from the Carmel Police Department obtained via an Access to Public Records Act (APRA) request from FOX59/CBS4’s Max Lewis, emergency responders were dispatched around 4:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 to Irsay’s home on W. 116th Street.

Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023, in Indianapolis. Shane Steichen was introduced as the Colts new head coach. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

A supplemental report said Carmel police were called to “assist fire with a male that was unresponsive, breathing, but turning blue.” That male, the report indicated, was 64-year-old Irsay.

The narrative said someone found Irsay had fallen in the bathroom; he was moved to a bed and was unresponsive. Irsay struggled to breathe, the report said.

“Irsay was unconscious with abnormal breathing (agonal breathing), a weak pulse, and he was cold to the touch,” the responding officer wrote in the report. 

One of the officers attempted to wake Irsay with a sternum rub, a type of pain stimulus, but he continued to be unresponsive. An officer gave him naloxone (Narcan) before medics arrived; he had a slight response to that, the report said. Naloxone is used to combat overdoses from opiates.

The officers were about to use an AED (automated external defibrillator) to shock Irsay’s heart, but paramedics soon took over and Irsay was taken to an area hospital.

“At this time, it is unknown what Mr. Irsay had ingested prior to our arrival,” an officer wrote in the report, which logged the incident as an “overdose.”

The report noted Irsay had been prescribed a number of medications; the prescriptions were redacted in documents provided as part of the APRA request. The documents also indicated that body cameras recorded the incident.

FILE -Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay speaks during a news conference at the NFL football team’s practice facility Monday, Nov. 7, 2022, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)

Irsay was seen at the Pittsburgh Steelers game on Dec. 16, but he’s made few public appearances since then. The Colts said last week that he was “being treated for a severe respiratory illness.” As a result, he skipped a planned performance of the Jim Irsay Band in Los Angeles.

The Colts said Irsay was “receiving excellent care” and looked forward to “returning to the stage as soon as possible.”

The team provided an additional statement on Wednesday when asked about Irsay’s health:

“Mr. Irsay continues to recover from his respiratory illness. We will have no further comment on his personal health, and we continue to ask that Jim and his family’s privacy be respected.”

Steve​ Campbell, Vice President of Communications & External Affairs

Irsay has been open in the past about his struggles with addiction.

In 2002, he admitted he had an addiction to painkillers that started in 1995 after rumors of a federal investigation swirled. He said several operations resulted in chronic pain and that he had sought treatment for his problems.

In a recent interview with HBO’s “Real Sports,” Irsay told the show he had been to rehab at least 15 times and recalled a previous overdose where he nearly died.  

“I was trying to detox myself, and I mixed multiple drugs that I didn’t know anything about. So all of a sudden, I start slurring my words. And then code blue, I stop breathing,” Irsay said. “And they revive me and the doctor goes, ‘Jim, you’re one lucky man because I had virtually signed the death certificate.’”

In 2014, Carmel police stopped Irsay for driving erratically. In the car, they found prescription drugs and more than $29,000 in cash. A toxicology report later revealed Irsay had oxycodone, hydrocodone and a drug used to treat anxiety in his system.

In September 2014, Irsay pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count, was fined by the NFL and served a six-game suspension.

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