ERLANGER - Two professional wrestlers couldn’t confine their fighting to the ring this week, police say.
Just hours after a WWE “SmackDown” event Tuesday night at U.S. Bank Area in downtown Cincinnati, wrestlers Christopher “Jericho” Irvine and Gregory “Hurricane” Helms were each charged with alcohol intoxication after a scuffle in a Northern Kentucky taxi cab.
Trouble started about 4 a.m. Wednesday when an Erlanger police officer patrolling Crescent Springs came upon five people being rowdy in the parking lot of the Buttermilk Crossings shopping center, said Erlanger police Lt. Kevin Gilpin. The officer told the group they needed to disband and several hailed a cab.
As the cab carrying the group pulled away, Helms got into a confrontation with the other passengers, Gilpin said. The cab driver pulled into the nearby Shell gas station at 528 Buttermilk Pike and called 911.
Helms and another WWE wrestler, Matt Hardy, then ran from the scene, Gilpin said.
Irvine, who stayed at the scene, was arrested for public drunkenness. Helms was later located by officers and arrested on the same charge. Officers couldn’t find Hardy.
Witnesses told officers Helms struck at least three of the five passengers in the cab, including one woman.
Irvine, 39, of Odessa, Fla., and Helms, 35, of Smithfield, N.C., were booked at the Kenton County jail at 5:45 a.m. Wednesday, chief deputy jailer Scott Colvin said. Irvine and Helms were released from the jail less than an hour later – about 6:30 a.m. – after each posted a $120 bond, jail officials said.
A conviction on the misdemeanor charge carries a fine of $25 and court costs of $134.
Helms and Hardy could appear in court Feb. 16 to challenge the misdemeanor charges or they could dispose of the charge by paying $159 before the scheduled court date.
Police are not pursuing other charges, but Gilpin said the other passengers in the cab were told that they could go to the Kenton County Attorney’s Office and file a complaint. No one had taken police up on that offer Thursday afternoon.
World Wrestling Entertainment released a statement Thursday saying the organization assumes authorities will take appropriate action, if necessary. WWE declined further comment.