The attorney for WWE Superstar Jimmy Uso has issued a statement saying that, despite reports stating otherwise, his client was not arrested for a second DUI. Rather, attorney Keith M. Goan is saying Uso was taken in for driving with a suspended license while also being on probation.
It had been reported that Uso, born Jonathon Fatu, had been stopped for driving under the influence on March 13 in Hillsborough County, Fla.
The statement appeared on Lordsofpain.net and other media outlets on March 20. The statement reads:
Please accept this correspondence as a notice of correction as it relates to the recent arrest of Jonathon Fatu. As many of you have reported Mr. Fatu was charged with a DUI in 2012. He plead No Contest to said charge and was placed on probation. He completed the terms and conditions of his probation as directed by the Court. While waiting for the termination of said probation to take effect, he was erroneously cited for driving on a suspended license and an affidavit of violation of probation was filed.
This most recent 'arrest' derived from Mr. Fatu turning himself in to the Hillsborough County Jail allowing for the warrant to be set aside. This arrest was not a second DUI as is being falsely reported. We are extremely confident that once we get on the Court's docket, Mr. Fatu's probation will be terminated and the citation for driving on a suspended license will be dismissed.
This should be welcome news for the beleaguered Uso, as an arrest for driving with a suspended license carries with it lighter penalties than with a second DUI.
A first offense driving with a suspended license in Florida brings the offender a fine of $500, a second-degree misdemeanor and 60 days in jail.
According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, a second offense DUI brings a fine of no more than $2,000. In addition, it could carry a jail term up to nine months, impoundment of the vehicle and a five-year revocation of Uso's license.
The WWE Wellness Policy states that wrestlers should be alcohol-free 12 hours before an event or performance, as well as when they are in the ring. A violation is a fine of $2,500. The WWE doesn't have an official policy for when wrestlers drink when they are off the job.
It's unclear what penalties—if any—the WWE will place on Uso given the change in the story.
Nothing has happened to Jack Swagger since his arrest for possession of marijuana. On the flip side, in 2006 when WWE and ECW champion Rob Van Dam suffered the same arrest, he lost both titles and was then suspended.
If the WWE were to release Uso, it would further weaken the tag team division by removing one of the few teams made of full-time tag team wrestlers.
Late last year, the division was growing. Team Hell No was on fire and several other teams were maneuvering for shots at the belts. Those teams included Team Rhodes Scholars, the Uso's, Primo and Epico, as well as Rey Mysterio and Sin Cara.
Does the WWE tag team division need Jimmy Uso?
Now the fire in the division has seemingly gone out. The WWE has thrown Big E. Langston and Dolph Ziggler in the mix by having them challenge for the belts at WrestleMania. Where are the real tag teams?
This is the problem. The WWE tag team division should be made up of guys who are trained to be, and want to be, tag-team wrestlers. When singles wrestlers are thrown together and then given the belts, it makes the titles and the entire division look like an afterthought.
The WWE needs more guys like Uso.
According to his attorney's statement, Uso appeared to be doing the right thing. Should he have known better to have never driven under the influence to begin with and never had a DUI in the first place?
Yes. But Uso took the high ground on this one. Hopefully, the WWE will see that and let him stay.