Mark Ty Hildreth, best known to wrestling fans as former WCW star ‘Heavy Metal’ Van Hammer, has been arrested and charged with leaving the scene of an injury crash and DUI with injuries after an incident involving a hit-and-run on a 5-year old boy.
Per multiple sources, Hildreth was reportedly driving 58 mph in a 35 mph zone on Sunday when his car struck the boy, who had “veered into the roadway” on a bicycle with training wheels. Hildreth then fled the scene, and “at least two witnesses” followed him to his home, where he was picked up by police.
Via the via the South Florida Sun Sentinel:
As bystanders went to help the boy, Hildreth pulled onto the roadway’s shoulder, got out of the car and said “he jumped out in front of me,” before getting back in the Mercedes and heading south on South Seacrest Boulevard, the arrest report said.
According to investigators, when Hildreth admitted being involved in the crash, his breath smelled of alcohol, his speech was slurred and he was staggering. He told police he had not had a drink since Saturday night, but refused to take part in sobriety testing.
From the Palm Beach Post:
Eric Tilghman, an industrial door-installer who lives nearby, said he was driving with a friend Sunday when he saw the car strike the child.
“The father picked up the son off the road,” Tilghman told The Palm Beach Post on Monday. “The kid was crying. The dad was crying. The guy was out of the car.”
Then, he said, “I’m looking at the guy and he’s getting back in the car. We’re yelling at him, ‘Don’t you leave. Don’t you leave!’”
It’s worth noting that the incident reportedly took place around 3 PM in the afternoon. This is Hildreth’s third DUI charge, following one in Texas in 1985, and another in Georgia in 2004.
The good news, if there is any, is that the boy was taken to a local medical center to be treated for road rash and internal injuries, but police are saying his injuries aren’t life-threatening.