Warren Tribune Chronicle – June 15, 2001
By Joe Gorman
GIRARD — Professional wrestler Jake “The Snake” Roberts will square off against a drunken driving charge in Girard Municipal Court this morning.
Jake “The Snake,” whose real name is Aurelian Smith, 103 Lakeside Lane, Gainesville, Texas, was charged with being involved in a hit-skip accident in the parking lot of Amex Dies Inc., 932 N. State St., around 6 p.m.
According to a Girard police report, the former World Wrestling Federation and World Championship Wrestling fan favorite was in the parking lot next to a car driven by Sherri Morgan, 119 E. Broadway, when his Lincoln Town Car backed up and hit Morgan’s car on the driver’s side.
He then drove away north on North State Street, the report said.
A spokeswoman for the Niles Police Department said he was pulled over and arrested by Girard police with assistance from Niles officers at the intersection of Robbins Road and Rhodes Avenue in Niles just after 6 p.m.
Smith was charged with driving under the influence and leaving the scene of an accident. His blood-alcohol content was 0.179, a Girard police spokesman said. In the state of Ohio, it is illegal for a driver to have a blood-alcohol content of 0.10 or higher.
Smith was released because the Trumbull County Jail only has room for violent offenders, the police spokesman said. He is due in court at 9 a.m.
In a brief conversation with reporters, Smith said he was dropping off his business manager to do some shopping and that Morgan ran into his car. He did not say why he took off.
Morgan, however, said she pulled into the parking lot to call a friend and was looking for a friend’s number on a Post-it note when she felt something hit her car.
“It jumped me and I snapped up,” she said from her home.
“He backed into me and took off like a bat out of hell towards Niles. How can I hit a car with my side door, for God’s sakes.”
Morgan said she called the police on her cellular phone and gave them the license plate number from the Town Car. There was a woman in the car with him, Morgan said.
Smith said he is in town to sign autographs at the Mahoning Valley Rib Burn Off this weekend. He was supposed to sign Thursday with King Kong Bundy, another former WWF superstar, but quipped that he was “busy here.”
He said he will be signing autographs for the rest of the weekend at the Burn Off.
Smith said he was not drinking.
Morgan said she has neck pain and numbness in her fingers from the accident. She said she had heard of Jake “The Snake” before but didn’t realize who hit her until a reporter told her.
“The Snake” was one of the top draws as both a heel (bad guy) and baby face (good guy) in the WWF and WCW in the 1980s and 1990s. His last major push in the big leagues was when he lost to “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in the 1996 “WWF King of the Ring” pay-per-view show.
“He might be famous, but I think he needs to have some morals,” Morgan said. “I hope to God he has insurance.”