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Former pro wrestling star arrested at Hernando court

Scott C. ''Bam Bam'' Bigelow goes to court to contest a traffic citation but ends up held on an outstanding warrant.

By MICHAEL KRUSE
Published August 2, 2006


BROOKSVILLE - Scott C. Bigelow, the former star professional wrestler who went by "Bam Bam," had flames tattooed onto his scalp and used a signature body slam called "Greetings from Asbury Park," was arrested on an outstanding warrant Monday afternoon at the Hernando County courthouse.

Bigelow, 44, most recently of 7821 Pineapple Lane, Port Richey, came to court to contest a traffic citation stemming from his bloody, drunken motorcycle wreck last fall on State Road 50 not far from U.S. 19. County Judge Don Scaglione told him there was a months-old warrant for his arrest. Bailiffs handcuffed him and took him into custody with relatively little back talk.

The hearing on Monday was for a basic civil infraction for failing to use due care, but after the Florida Highway Patrol's investigation into the accident, Bigelow also was charged in a criminal case with DUI, DUI with property damage, DUI with serious bodily injury, having no motorcycle license and driving with a suspended license from New Jersey. DUI with bodily injury is a third-degree felony. Third-degree felonies are punishable by up to five years in prison.

Bail was set at $5,000. Bigelow was being held Monday evening at the Hernando County Jail. He is due back in court Sept. 5.

"The troopers were surprised to see him, to be honest," FHP spokesman Trooper Larry Coggins said Monday. "Typically people who are wanted don't come walking into courtrooms.

"But lo and behold," Coggins said, "he walked in."

Janis Remiesiewicz, 42, Bigelow's girlfriend, who was on the back of the bike at the time of the wreck and at first was listed in critical condition after being flown to Tampa General Hospital, answered her home phone late Monday afternoon. She didn't have much to say but did let loose with a couple of curse words.

"Don't write anything about him," she said.

Then she hung up.

She didn't answer a return call.

Bam Bam's seen better days.

The 6-foot-3 native of Asbury Park, N.J., wrestled anywhere from 325 pounds to over 400 and was known for his agility and athleticism, given his extreme size.

The Wrestling Observer newsletter named Bigelow Rookie of the Year for all of pro wrestling in 1986. He made his debut in the World Wrestling Federation in 1987 and won titles in Extreme Championship Wrestling and World Championship Wrestling. He wrestled with Hulk Hogan and Diamond Dallas Page and against Andre the Giant and was in the headliner match at WrestleMania in 1995 in front of more than 16,000 people.

But his career came to a messy and reluctant end.

He had back problems, and surgeries, and retired in 2002. Then he unretired a month later. Then he quit for good in 2004.

Then he pretty much disappeared from the public eye.

Until Oct. 2, 2005, that is, when he slid off the 1998 Harley Davidson he was driving.

According to the FHP report, he tried to change lanes and lost control, and the Harley hit the pavement, and then Bigelow did, and then Remiesiewicz. Bigelow was taken to Oak Hill Hospital. Remiesiewicz was flown to Tampa.

They were recovering about a month later when they talked to the St. Petersburg Times at their home in Port Richey for a story that ran in November.

"I had a few beers that day," Bigelow said then. "But it wasn't nothing exceeding what people go overboard with."

But the FHP's investigation was finished earlier this year and showed that his blood-alcohol content at the time of the wreck was .208. That's nearly three times the legal limit.

The FHP issued the warrant for his arrest. Coggins said troopers hadn't been able to locate him until Monday.

Since January, though, Bigelow has been making appearances at American Combat Wrestling shows at the Bourbon Street Concert Club in New Port Richey, according to a story that ran last week in the Pasco County section of the Tampa Tribune.

"He kept coming by and he asked if we wanted help, and we said, 'Of course, you're Bam Bam freakin' Bigelow,' " ACW founder Dave Kocotos told the Tribune.

"Where I come from," said Kocotos, from New Jersey, "Bam Bam Bigelow walks on water."

The Times still gets e-mails and the occasional phone call responding to the story that ran in November.

One came just this past Saturday.

Some guy wanted an autograph.

Michael Kruse can be reached at mkruse@sptimes.com or 352 848-1434.

[Last modified August 1, 2006, 22:40:30]


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