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By Mike Johnson on 2020-04-27 17:37:00

Former WCW star Mark "Van Hammer" Hildreth plead not guilty in absentia (meaning he was not present in court) and a pre-trial hearing has been set for Wednesday 6/10 before Florida's Palm Beach County Court in advance of a trial this summer.

The same day, the court ordered the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles to deliver Hildreth's driving records in advance of the trial.

Hildreth, 60 years old was arrested on Sunday 1/26 and charged with driving under the influence in Boynton Beach, Florida (where he resides) following an incident where Hildreth's car struck a five-year old boy who was riding a bicycle, throwing the boy atop Hildreth's car's hood, according to local police.  The young boy was admitted as a trauma patient with possible internal injuries and "road rash." 

According to the police report, Hildreth was driving driving near south Seacrest Boulevard and Southeast 34th Avenue when Hildreth's car struck the boy, who was riding his bicycle with his father.  Hildreth allegedly got out of the car, stated the boy jumped out in front of him, then drove away.  Another witness followed Hildreth to his home and identified him to police.  The police report noted that Hildreth smelled of alcohol and refused to take a breathalyzer.

Hildreth was estimated to be doing 58 in a 35 mph zone, according to The Washington Times.  He clipped the boy when his bicycle veered into the street. Eric Tilghman, an industrial door-installer who lives nearby, told the Times News he was driving with a friend Sunday when he saw the car strike the child.  “The father picked up the son off the road  The kid was crying. The dad was crying. The guy was out of the car.” Tilghman said, Then, he said, “I’m looking at the guy and he’s getting back in the car. We’re yelling at him, ‘Don’t you leave. Don’t you leave!’ ”  Tilghman follow Hildreth after he left the scene of the crash, taking photos and following him home.  Hildreth was taken into custody after being found sitting on his front steps.

Hildreth was charged with felony hit and run with failure to stop in a crash involving others and serious bodily injuries, DUI with injuries to another person  and leaving the scene of an injury crash.    

During a January hearing, it was noted Hildreth had two previous DUIs in the past, one in Texas in 1985 and one in Georgia in 2004.  He also has numerous traffic infractions in the State of Florida.

Hildreth was ordered not to have contact with the victim or any potential witnesses, to make himself available to random testing for drugs and alcohol and that he not use any alcohol or drugs nor carry any illegal weapons on his person:

HIldreth is being represented by a public defender and is currently out on $50,000 bond.

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