Professional wrestlers misbehaving in the ring is nothing new. But what happens when wrestlers make mistakes outside the ring that land them in handcuffs? Here are outlandish wrestler arrests you may not be aware of!
1. Juventud Guerrera
Juventud Guerrera, AKA “Juvi,” is the son of Fuerza Guerrera and a skilled cruiserweight wrestler who has plied his trade worldwide. Promotions like Mexico’s AAA, ECW, WCW, WWE (“The Mexicools” with Super Crazy and Psicosis), and TNA have all hired the services of the exciting luchador.
However, on October 8th, 2000, while on tour with WCW, Juvi delved into madness, gained superhuman strength akin to The Incredible Hulk, and found himself on the wrong end of the law.
Getting the Wrong Kind of Attention
Disco Inferno was one of the various wrestlers who participated in WCW’s tour of Australia in the autumn of 2000.
In an interview with The Hannibal TV, Disco recounted the bizarre scene from October 8th, 2000. It involved a belligerent Juventud Guerrera in the buff after falling under the influence of what Disco believed was the dissociative hallucinogenic Phencyclidine (also known as PCP or Angel Dust). Other sources claim it was ecstasy.
“I’ll never forget this,” remembered Disco. “It was a Marriott.
“At the end [of the hotel] was a restaurant with big windows everywhere where you can see outside while sitting there. There were many old ladies in flowery dresses eating breakfast in the morning!
“There’s Juvi outside arguing with Konnan and Rey Mysterio over something, and I’m like, ‘What the freak is going on?!’
“Juvi takes his clothes off, and he’s just screaming at the top of his lungs.
“[Konnan and Mysterio] were trying to settle him down, but he was freakin’ out!
“I guess [Juvi] had been with some guys in a club, and they were smoking angel dust (pot laced with PCP), and he didn’t know it. He was all messed up.
Disco continues, “So the cops show up because an unclothed guy is screaming at the top of his lungs freakin’ out, and there were five [police], okay?
“When they tried to subdue him, I’ve never seen anything like this, it was like he had superhuman strength and Juvi’s not a big guy, you know?
“They tried to grab him, and he’s slinging people off him; they couldn’t– he’s a little guy!
“Every single [police officer] trying to get him was a decent-sized guy, and they couldn’t.
“Finally, one of the guys had to tackle the whole pile to get [Juvi] on the ground.
“They had him pinned down with his face on the cement, four to five guys holding him down, and it looked like they still couldn’t keep him down! I was like, ‘Where is he getting the strength from?’
“It was the weirdest scene. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Disco Inferno added that if camera phones were as prevalent back then as they are now, he believes that the outrageous public melee involving Juvi and the cops would have probably got around 30 million views online! However, he also notes wrestlers “used to get too wild back then.”
More Details and Punishment
In another interview on Keepin’ it 100 With Konnan, Disco Inferno, and Konnan further elaborated on the incident.
After Juventud Guerrera undressed in front of everyone, Konnan remembers throwing his clothes in the nearby river.
He also claims Juvi speared one of the female police officers and broke several of her ribs.
Konnan mentioned an incensed Terry Taylor arriving on the scene too. Disco added that Kanyon and maybe Billy Kidman witnessed the whole thing.
Even with his newfound PCP strength, Juvi was finally subdued by half a dozen officers and abundant capsicum (mace) spray.
According to the Australian Associated Press, Juventud Guerrera (real name Eduardo Aníbal González Hernández) was arrested and charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer, one count of indecent exposure, one count of disorderly conduct, one count of causing bodily harm, and one count of possession of a dangerous substance.
He was also fined $2,050 plus an extra $1,400 (however, the fine amount varies by source).
Fortunately, they didn’t put a conviction on his record. If they would have, Juventud Guerrera wouldn’t have been able to travel internationally and continue working. However, after this incident with the police, he reached new heights of infamy with his embarrassing behavior. So, WCW executives fired him.
Before this incident, WCW had a string of rotten luck on international tours.
In 1993, on a visit to Blackburn, England, Sid Vicious and Arn Anderson got into a violent and ghastly altercation with a pair of scissors which sent Vicious packing and almost cost Arn his life after receiving at least 20 stab wounds. Both were deported back to the United States the following day.
In 1994, after getting his head stuck between the ropes in a Hangman spot, the unpredictable Cactus Jack (Mick Foley) tore off a part of his ear in a match in Munich, Germany, against Big Van Vader. The ropes had been cranked too tight, and the inexperienced French referee had no idea what to do. It is still one of the most talked-about injuries ever to occur in the ring.
And then, as you just read, in 2000, Juvi let loose at a Brisbane, Australia, Marriott hotel during breakfast in front of a bunch of elderly tourists. That morning, people eating breakfast walked away with a story to tell for the ages.
Sadly in 2019, Juventud Guerrera was Silver King’s (Ramses from the movie Nacho Libre) last opponent before he died in the ring during an event in England. You can read more about that shocking story here.
2. Dick Slater
Dick Slater was a two-sport athlete who played football and wrestled for the University of Tampa.
After surviving Eddie Graham and Hiro Matsuda‘s brutal training regimen, Slater broke into pro wrestling in 1972. Soon, he would garner the nicknames “Dirty Dick” and “Mr. Unpredictable.”
One of the genuine tough guys of the sport, Slater became a top draw in the Southeast (notably Georgia and Florida) during the 1970s and ’80s.
He held a slew of NWA regional titles throughout his career, including championships in Jim Crockett Promotions, Tennessee, the Mid-Atlantic, Mid-South Wrestling, and San Antonio.
In 1992, he and The Barbarian became WCW U.S. Tag Team Champions. He would win the tag titles a couple of years later with Bunkhouse Buck (Jimmy Golden).
Other significant titles of note include winning the prestigious Missouri Heavyweight title on August 12th, 1977, after defeating the talented Jack Brisco and Greg Valentine in a physical battle for the NWA U.S. Championship on December 14th, 1983.
Living in Pain After Retirement
After retiring from professional wrestling as a wrestler and booker in 1996, Dick Slater dealt with extreme pain and underwent numerous back operations, including having four discs removed.
In time, he grew addicted to painkillers which, according to Slater, drove him almost to commit murder.
Mike Mooneyham reported that on December 27th, 2003, Slater repeatedly used a kitchen knife with an 8-inch blade to stab his ex-girlfriend, Theresa Halbert of 41. She would end up with wounds on her arm, leg, and back.
Before the incident, Slater and Halbert broke up. She had allowed him to retrieve the last of his possessions from her Largo, Florida home.
According to police reports, after he had asked Halbert for help getting some clothes out of a bag in her bedroom, he suddenly came up behind her, punched her in the head, and knocked her down.
Once dazed on the floor, Slater sat on her and stabbed her three times.
Halbert told police that Slater ordered her to get up and lay on her bed because he wanted to watch her bleed to death.
The distraught woman desperately pleaded with the disturbed ex-wrestler and begged for her life. She went as far as professing her continued love for him and tried to kiss him in an attempt to buy time and call 911.
Slater suddenly said he would end his life and left his shocked ex-girlfriend in the house. They had been together seven years, but everything had ended almost tragically in minutes.
After the assault, authorities found Dick Slater overdosed at a nearby home on pain medications he later claimed were given to him the night before his attack on Halbert.
In an eye-opening interview on MidAtlanticGateway.net, Slater, who at the time was out of jail and seemingly making strides towards a life of normalcy, gave his side of the story.
“I don’t know what actually happened, other than I woke up in Intensive Care in the hospital. I had gone to the hospital by ambulance the night before.
“They had given me a shot of Morphine, and when I went to the Emergency Room, they had apparently given me two forty milligram Oxycontins on top of that, and I was already on Vicodin and Klonopin and Neurontin.
“And they had a medication called Avinza, a Morphine-based pain pill. Plus, I had nerve damage, and I could hardly walk. And I had a hurt neck; I had spinal stenosis in my neck.
“So, I was in real bad shape. And when they did all that, they let me out of the hospital! They put me in a friend of mine’s car, and I ended up at his house. I couldn’t tell you what happened from there. (laughs)
“I woke up in the hospital [after the incident with my ex-girlfriend], and I was pretty messed up.”
Slater added that he had gone to the Emergency Room the previous evening because of severe pain.
During the interview, Slater alludes to medical malpractice in one of his many operations. Previously, he had had a spine stimulator put in his back by a pain management doctor and also asserts to having ten screws and three rods in his back.
He also mentions that he was held in jail under a $100,000 bail while awaiting trial, so he couldn’t have gotten out even if he wanted to.
“But when I came to jail, they pushed me in with a wheelchair… but I walked out. They pushed me in with a wheelchair, and I was a big heel when I went in there, and I walked out the babyface!” (laughs)
“There is no rehab in the jail. I was fighting the law, fighting the pain, fighting the legal system, and fighting to stay alive.
“There were a few times that I thought I might not make it. But I just wanted to make it, so that’s why I made it.
“I came out fighting… I’ve never been a quitter. You’ve never seen me be a quitter.”
Punishment for Dick Slater
Although Dick Slater assured that he had no recollection of the attack and blamed the heinous act on a combination of medications, Mike Johnson of PWInsider reported that Slater was convicted and sentenced to one year of community control (an alternative type of imprisonment available to felons in Florida). In his interview with Mid-Atlantic Gateway, Slater claimed it was actually six months.
Slater pleaded no contest to a lesser charge of aggravated battery. Furthermore, authorities added two years probation, a restraining order against Halbert, and ordered Slater to pay $18,000 in restitution. One hundred sixty-five days in jail was counted as time served.
But in his Mid-Atlantic Gateway interview, Slater disputes this, saying, “If all they charged me with were true, I’d still be sitting in the Pinellas County Jail. I hate to be a heel when I’m not, you know? I ain’t pleading to somethin’ I didn’t do. I never had any history of altercations with [my ex-girlfriend] at all.”
Slater claimed that the worst trouble he had gotten into before was in the Florida Keys with ex-girlfriend Luna Vachon when they were arrested for public intoxication when Luna was fighting three guys at a bar, and he broke it up.
Mike Johnson also mentioned that according to The St. Petersburg Times, Slater was unfortunately arrested again on January 18th, 2007. He had been harassing Theresa Halbert by phone and left an envelope of bank statements at her house, violating his restraining order.
Slater claimed he did not remember this incident but said he may have done it under the influence.
According to 411MANIA, Slater was arrested several more times in Pinellas County since 2007. One was a failure to appear in court on a petit theft charge.
Dick Slater Remembered
On October 18th, 2018, Dick Slater (real name Richard Van Slater) died at age 67 due to heart complications.
Many friends and colleagues expressed deep sorrow and sent condolences.
“Nature Boy” Ric Flair tweeted, “So sad to hear about the passing of my good friend Dick Slater who was a great wrestler and one of the legit toughest guys of all time.”
Slater was an all-time great in the ring, but his life seemed to have unraveled after he retired from wrestling in 1996, and his dependence on pain medications was his undoing.
3. Blackjack Mulligan
The Big Texan Blackjack Mulligan has an almost unmatched storied legacy in wrestling.
He was also the father of Barry and Kendall Windham, who forged their own very respectable careers. He is also the maternal grandfather of Bray Wyatt and Bo Dallas and the father-in-law of Mike Rotunda (Irwin R. Schyster in the WWF).
Related read: 30 Wrestlers You May Not Know Were Related!
Many still remember the formidable team of The Blackjacks during the 1970s consisting of Blackjack Mulligan and Blackjack Lanza. Bobby “The Brain” Heenan was their manager from their inception, but during their last run in 1975 for the WWWF, “Captain” Lou Albano was at their side.
In Blackjack Mulligan’s last run in Championship Wrestling from Florida, he faced the wicked Kevin Sullivan and his Army of Darkness. NWA Florida was always known to have intense and often controversial angles, and this time it was no different.
In a graphic incident on TV, Sullivan blasted Mulligan over the head with a coke bottle, which split his forehead across.
Now almost fed up with the wrestling business, in 1986-87, he made one more visit to Vince McMahon’s WWF, where he became the masked “Big Machine” with fellow “Machines” Bill Eadie and André the Giant.
Quitting Wrestling, Real Estate Troubles
In an interview on Mid-Atlantic Gateway, Blackjack Mulligan explained that he suddenly had an epiphany and decided to walk away from wrestling for good.
“After twenty-some years in the business, I got in the ring one day and said, ‘What am I doing here? I’m making so much money in the real estate business. It’s really time to exit. Let’s exit stage left on top…semi on top!'”
But he had no idea that his Florida real estate ventures which started in 1983, innocently enough, would later garner him a federal counterfeiting conviction and subsequent prison sentence for him and his son Kendall.
Mulligan continued elaborating on what happened.
“I was in business with four or five attorneys. We were doing all kinds of real estate, shopping centers, all kinds of stuff.
“I became very, very wealthy. But I outstretched myself and got in a bind. Then I did something real, real rash. I did something really stupid and crazy; me and the four attorneys did.”
Mulligan claimed that President Ronald Reagan changed the real estate laws on investment properties where they were no longer tax-deductible. He said that he suddenly had $35 million in non-deductible properties.
Depending on what you read, the amount varies. But in December of 1989, Mulligan and his son tried to pass $20 counterfeit bills in an amount ranging from $500,000 to $1,000,000 to undercover law enforcement agents. The Secret Service was involved in the investigation as well. There were sixteen people involved in the indictment.
Once convicted in March of 1990, Mulligan served two years in prison, where he claimed it was “more of a camp but still not easy,” plus two years probation.
His son Kendall served 27 months. Everyone else got six months.
The people who collaborated (the “rats,” as he calls them) got less time than everyone else.
“That was a total disgrace to a great career of mine. It was a slap in the face to my fans, and it was a slap in the face to my parents that I, with all the great things that happened to me over the years, had to resort to what I did.
“I rib about it now. I tell people, ‘I came down on vacation and ended up on probation! I wanted to come down and become a tycoon and became a typhoon! That’s me!'” (laughs)
Another Version Of The Story
In a 2019 interview with Monte and the Pharaoh, Barry Windham was asked if he could provide more details on what happened in his father’s counterfeit scam. Barry offered a different version of what the supposed official story is.
All I know is that they had a couple of suitcases with counterfeit money,” admitted Barry Windham.
“I don’t know where it came from or what, but they tried to sell it to a crook, and he turned on them.
“My dad was almost out of the business at that point and was trying to start another business. My dad was real frantic. I don’t know what it was. He was trying to start an oil company.
“My dad was always full of big ideas and the next ‘get rich’ scheme. I was lucky that I was on the road with the WWF (as the Widowmaker), and I wasn’t there for it because I’m sure if I had been home when the cops came to my house, I’m sure they would’ve taken me in also.
“That was a blessing,” Barry continues, “but the secret service and FBI made my life difficult ten years later.
“I was audited every year by the IRS. It was brutal.”
Paying With Phony Bills
“Golden Boy” Jerry Grey appeared as a guest on Episode 83 of The 6:05 Superpodcast, talking about how he presumes that a couple of months before the bust, he and all the other wrestlers on a desolate show in the Bahamas got paid by Blackjack Mulligan with some of those counterfeit $20 bills.
“At the end of the show, I was there waiting to get paid,” Grey states, “but Mulligan just left and disappeared for a long time.
“Bugsy [McGraw] told me, ‘What are you waiting for? Let’s go to the hotel.’
“Here comes Blackjack to my room with all these $20 bills. A big pile of money to pay everybody with. All twenties for everybody!”
Grey continued, “[Mulligan] started counting out five hundred for Bugsy, five hundred for Danny [Spivey], and he gave me the same. [Blackjack] said, ‘And I’ll just give three grand for your boys [Grey’s wrestlers for Mulligan’s show].
“I was like, ‘Jesus, okay!’ It was just so much money, so much money! I was like, ‘What the hell?’ It was all twenties for everyone, and he seemed kind of nervous — and he’s a big guy! I was really stunned when I heard what had happened to Mulligan only a short time later.”
Blackjack Mulligan Remembered
Blackjack Mulligan (real name Robert Windham) died at age 73. As part of The Blackjacks with Lanza, he is a 2006 WWE Hall of Fame inductee. Wrestling history is only wealthier thanks to his involvement.
Once again, Ric Flair acknowledged the passing of one of the greats by tweeting, “My friend since 1976. A man among men. We drove 3000 miles a week for eight years. TOUGH does not begin to define Jack…”
These stories may also interest you:
- Blackjack Mulligan – Fist Fighting with Andre, Harley, and Ole
- Rob Van Dam and the Arrest That Changed His Career
- 5 Dark Lucha Libre Stories With Questions Left Unanswered
- Sam Sheppard – How a Murder Inspired a Wrestling Career
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