Hulk Hogan’s son turned himself in Wednesday on charges stemming from a street-racing crash this summer that critically injured a passenger in his car, police said.
Nick Bollea, 17, was arrested on charges of reckless driving involving serious bodily injury, Clearwater police spokeswoman Elizabeth Daly-Watts said. He arrived at the Pinellas County Jail handcuffed and accompanied by two police officers, The Tampa Tribune reported.
“Because Nick is still a juvenile and has no prior criminal record, we are disappointed that he is being charged as an adult offender. However, we are confident that the evidence will demonstrate that this was an accident,” family spokesman Adam Handelsman said in a written statement.
The statement also sought to discredit reports that Bollea caused the crash by driving fast, saying preliminary expert reports indicated that it was not a high-speed accident.
Police said Bollea was racing his father’s 1998 Toyota Supra against a Dodge Viper driven by a friend on Aug. 26 when the car Bollea was driving struck a curb, spun across two lanes of traffic and slammed rear-end first into a palm tree. His passenger, John Graziano, was not wearing a seat belt and was critically injured. Bollea, who was wearing a seat belt, was not seriously injured.
Graziano, 22, suffered a broken skull and has been comatose at Bayfront Medical Center, according to medical professionals who examined him and submitted reports on his condition to court.
In addition to the reckless driving charge, authorities cited Bollea for using a motor vehicle in commission of a felony, being a driver under 21 while operating a vehicle with a breath-alcohol level of .02 percent or higher and having illegal window tinting.
Blood drawn about two hours after the crash showed that Bollea’s blood-alcohol content was 0.055 percent. The blood-alcohol level at which Florida law presumes an adult driver to be impaired is .08 percent.
“Nick will meet and answer these charges in the appropriate arena a court of law,” attorneys Sandy Weinberg Jr. and Kevin Hayslett said a statement released on their client’s behalf.
Police said he posted $10,000 bond and he was later seen leaving with his father and his mother, Linda. None of them spoke to reporters.
The Viper’s driver, 22-year-old Daniel Jacobs, did not directly cause the crash but was summoned to court for a reckless driving charge.
Bollea appears on VH1’s “Hogan Knows Best” with his professional wrestler-father, his mother and sister.