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VAN HAMMER RULED GUILTY IN DUI CASE, SENTENCED

By Mike Johnson on 2020-05-19 10:12:00

Former WCW star Mark "Van Hammer" Hildreth, 60, plead guilty to one count of Driving Under the Influence, Causing Property Damage and Injury as part of a plea deal with Florida's Palm Beach County Court and has been sentenced to one year of probation, a one year suspension of his driver's license and having an interlock device place on his vehicle for one year as well.   

Hildreth was also ruled guilty of leaving the scene of an accident while a charge of violating the speed zone was dismissed.  The guilty plea was officially made on 4/29 as part of a plea agreement that saw Hildreth sentenced only on the DUI charge.

Hildreth's car struck a five-year old boy who was riding a bicycle on Sunday 1/26, throwing the boy atop Hildreth's car's hood, according to local police.  The young boy was admitted as a trauma patient with possible internal injuries and "road rash."   

According to the police report, Hildreth was driving driving near south Seacrest Boulevard and Southeast 34th Avenue when Hildreth's car struck the boy, who was riding his bicycle with his father.  Hildreth allegedly got out of the car, stated the boy jumped out in front of him, then drove away.  Another witness followed Hildreth to his home and identified him to police.  The police report noted that Hildreth smelled of alcohol and refused to take a breathalyzer.

Hildreth was estimated to be doing 58 in a 35 mph zone, according to The Washington Times.  He clipped the boy when his bicycle veered into the street. Eric Tilghman, an industrial door-installer who lives nearby, told the Times News he was driving with a friend Sunday when he saw the car strike the child.  “The father picked up the son off the road  The kid was crying. The dad was crying. The guy was out of the car.” Tilghman said, 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!’ ”  Tilghman followed Hildreth after he left the scene of the crash, taking photos and following him home.  Hildreth was taken into custody after being found sitting on his front steps.

During a January hearing, it was noted Hildreth had two previous DUIs in the past, one in Texas in 1985 and one in Georgia in 2004.  He also has numerous traffic infractions in the State of Florida.  Hildreth was ordered at the time to not to have contact with the victim or any potential witnesses, to make himself available to random testing for drugs and alcohol and that he not use any alcohol or drugs nor carry any illegal weapons on his person:

Hildreth was given four days' credit towards his one year probation for the four days he was incarcerated.

It was noted in court records that within the term of his probation, Hildreth must attend a victim's impact session, where he will learn of how DUIs have effected those who have been victims in such circumstances.  It was also noted the victims in his case have been notified of the plea agreement and according to court records "are not seeking restitution."

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