In news that isn't so surprising (and how sad is that), current TNA Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle was arrested early this morning (Sept. 4) for driving under the influence in Virginia. The hounds at TMZ have the story:
Wrestling legend Kurt Angle was arrested early this morning on charges of driving under the influence ... TMZ has learned.
Angle was busted by Virginia State Troopers and taken to Warren County Jail. He posted $2,000 bond and was released at 3:31 AM.
This is the second time in the past six months that Angle has been popped for getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
Angle signed with TNA in 2006 and has now been arrested a total of four times since then, three involving some form of reckless driving while under the influence. That's called a pattern, folks, and his problems, which he claimed he had finally taken care of, have clearly not gone away. Here's a brief rundown of the issues he's had over the past few years:
- Was arrested in 2007 for driving under the influence and careless driving, which he was eventually acquitted of due to witnesses not being able to keep their stories straight. Police followed Angle home after reports had him leaving a bar and driving erratically. When he refused to take a sobriety test, infamously speaking openly with pills in his mouth, he was taken into custody.
Was arrested in 2009 for harassment and drug possession when a woman, Trenesha Biggers (Rhaka Khan), who was also working for TNA, got an order of protection from him and he ignored it. This led to police arresting him for stalking when she noticed him outside a cafe she was at. When the cops pulled him over in his girlfriend's car, they found human growth hormone (HGH). Angle had a prescription for the drugs, though, as he apparently needed them just to function properly. All charges were dropped and Biggers was fired by TNA soon after.
- Just this past March Angle was arrested for drunk parking on a median. Passersby reported that a vehicle was in the median and when police came to investigate, they found Angle passed out behind the wheel and smelling of alcohol. He lied and claimed he hit an icy patch (on a dry road) before changing his story to say he was distracted by a text message. He quickly failed a field sobriety test and was taken into custody, immediately posting bail. He was later sentenced to 10 days in jail (suspended), a year of probation and a $250 fine. He also had to pay $225 in court fees and undergo a chemical dependency evaluation.
Angle's problems with substance abuse have been well documented for years now. Breaking his neck multiple times and working through entirely too many injuries led to chemical addictions throughout his career that terrorized his later run in the WWE. Towards the end of said run, he was suspended for failing a drug test and when he came back, company executives had so little confidence in his being able to get clean they hired "handlers" to essentially babysit him while on the road.
By all accounts, 2006 was the year Angle was at his worst, with some saying he was on the same level as Brian Pillman during his darkest times. That's saying a lot and when WWE gave him the "rehab or hit the road" ultimatum, he predictably chose the latter and quickly ended up in TNA.
Amazingly enough, despite his various arrests, he's generally appeared to be in much better shape since signing with the promotion. He's smaller, no longer slurring his speech at every turn and still (somehow) putting on solid matches week in and week out. Obviously, though, his issues still exist, at least to some extent. Maybe not as bad as they were in the past and likely nowhere near where they were when he was at rock bottom, but this many arrests for driving under the influence is enough for someone to force treatment.