By The Associated Press
GULFPORT — If all professional wrestler Jack Swagger had were tickets for speeding and misdemeanor marijuana possession, he could pay them by mail or online.
Gulfport city prosecutor Kirk Clark tells The Sun Herald that it is the driving under the influence charge that requires Swagger to return to Gulfport.
Swagger, whose real name is Donald Jacob “Jake” Hager Jr., was arrested just before midnight Tuesday in Gulfport on charges of speeding, misdemeanor marijuana possession and DUI.
Hager, 30, had just completed taping the TV show “WWE SmackDown” in Biloxi at the Mississippi Coast Coliseum.
Police Lt. Craig Petersen said police stopped his northbound car on Lorraine Road about six miles south of Interstate 10. He said Swagger’s car was towed and he was released from custody to a friend who picked him up at the police station.
Swagger’s municipal court date is March 12. The charges are misdemeanors.
If convicted, records show Swagger faces fines of $188 for driving 10 mph over the speed limit, $437 for a small amount of marijuana and $1,300 if it’s his first DUI offense. The DUI charge carries a mandatory court appearance and he could lose his driver’s license for 90 days.
Clark said the court has allowed some defendants in limited circumstances to plead guilty to DUI without a court appearance. That only happens, he said, when an attorney enters a plea by affidavit and the defendant signs a notarized waiver of rights.
“We have never recommended mere fines and fees only on a DUI,” Clark said. “We always recommend the maximum sentence of two days in jail for first offenders. That time can be suspended but only on completion of certain court-ordered conditions like probation, classes, AA meetings, etc.”
Kirk said a conviction includes an order to complete a Victim Impact Panel class, he said.
Swagger, who lives with his wife and child in in Boca Raton, Fla., is a native of Perry, Okla. The 6-foot-7, 260-pound Swagger played football and wrestled at the University of Oklahoma before he became a pro wrestler.
WWE said in a statement that “Mr. Swagger is responsible for his own personal actions.”