“Court Case Friday”
I presided over a case of a developmentally disabled young man who lived in a care home. He was a huge fan, (“Hulkster“) of Hulk Hogan, “The Hulk,” the giant world-famous wrestler and celebrity.
One morning, while this young man was waiting for the public bus to take him to an assembly line where he. He suddenly decided to impersonate his wrestling hero. As a woman stepped from the bus, he slammed her to the ground and pinned her.
To his shock and horror, the woman screamed and started crying. That never happened on TV! The other wrestlers never cried.
The young man was in total shock. He was in even more shock when the police arrived and arrested him for assault and battery.
The defendant had the mental capacity of a young child. He was not fully responsible for his actions.
I was stymied. How could I resolve this case?
The young man didn’t deserve jail time. He couldn’t pay a fine. Nor did he have the capacity to do community service.
But, I needed to do something to impress upon him that he could not wrestle strangers on the street. My ultimate concern is always protecting the safety of the public.
When I learned from the defendant’s therapist that the young man idolized Hulk Hogan, I got an idea. I asked the public defender’s investigator to track down the address of “the Hulk’s” agent. I then wrote a letter to “the Hulk” asking for his help. I explained the situation and detailed what I needed.
Several weeks later, I received a large envelope from Hulk Hogan. Inside, was an 8 by 10-inch glossy photo of “the Hulk.” Below a hand written message with the Hulk’s autograph. The message read, “To Bobby, one of my best fans. Always remember, never wrestle people without their consent. The Hulk.”
I was very impressed that this world-famous wrestler and celebrity would take the time to accommodate my request and help this young man.
I framed the photo and scheduled a court hearing for the defendant. I conducted a special ceremony where I presented him with the signed photo of his hero. And I “ordered” the young man to put the picture on the wall of his bedroom to remind him to never wrestle with a stranger.
It worked. After a year, there were further problems. I dismissed his case, and I never saw him in court again.
Now, I am also a big fan of “The Hulk.”
This creative resolution was one of the most heart-warming and satisfying of my career.
(A personal favorite, and popular, court case. Initially posted 3 years ago, but worth repeating.)