Retired pro wrestler arrested by Pinellas Park police - FOX 13 News

Retired pro wrestler arrested by Pinellas Park police

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LARGO (FOX 13) -

A retired professional wrestler with strong ties to the Bay area is in trouble with the law, again.

Richard Van Slater – who appeared in the ring as ‘Dirty' Dick Slater – was arrested by Pinellas Park Police early Sunday for failing to appear in court on a petit theft charge.

The 61-year-old Tampa Robinson High School product was booked into the Pinellas County Jail where he is being held on a bond of $2,026.

Slater was arrested by Pinellas County Sheriff's deputies on a petit theft charge on February 5th. He was scheduled to appear in court on February 25th but failed to show up so a warrant was issued for his arrest.

For nearly three decades Slater earned a comfortable living as a professional wrestler. At Robinson High he was classmates with Mike Graham whose father Eddie was a promoter for Championship Wrestling from Florida.

After graduation he attended the University of Tampa where he met another man familiar to wrestling fans, Paul ‘Mr. Wonderful' Orndorff. A short time later he began wrestling for CWF and Georgia Championship Wrestling.

Slater fell on hard times after a series of back injuries forced him to retire from the squared circle in 2003. A year later he was convicted of stabbing an ex-girlfriend and was sentenced to one year of house arrest and two years of probation.

He blamed the incident on his use of pain killers.

Sunday's arrest is Slater's fifth in Pinellas County since 2007.

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