Ex-Professional Wrestler Running for House Seat in Republican Primary Was Accused of Assault 3 Times
A former professional wrestler running in a Republican primary for a U.S. House seat in Nevada has been accused of assault three times, according to police records obtained by The Associated Press.
Florida court records and sheriff’s office documents detail three incidents from 2010 through 2013 where Dan Rodimer was accused of punching or throwing someone to the ground in disputes at nightclubs and restaurants.
Rodimer had previously acknowledged a 2010 incident at a Waffle House restaurant in Naples, Florida, where he was arrested for battery, calling it “unfortunate” and saying he regrets it.
But Collier County Sheriff’s Office records show there were two additional incidents from 2011 and 2013 in which Rodimer was accused of assault. In both cases, Rodimer was accused of punching other men at or outside of nightclubs. It’s not clear why neither resulted in criminal charges.
Rodimer’s campaign manager Marissa Martínez responded in a statement Friday that Rodimer is “a threat to the establishment, which is why his political opponents are digging through every little thing in his past.”
Rodimer, who was known as Dan Rodman when he was with World Wrestling Entertainment, is running for a Las Vegas-area seat in Congress. His campaign is being assisted by a consulting firm co-founded by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.
His campaign website describes him as a 6-foot-7 former pro-wrestler and entrepreneur who “is ready to get in the ring for us” and likens Washington politics to a “wrestling cage match.”
Court records from Collier County, Florida, show Rodimer entered a deferred prosecution program for 2010 incident. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor battery charge and completed a six-week anger management course in exchange for the charge being dropped in 2012.
But around that same time, two additional accusations were made against Rodimer, Collier County Sheriff’s Records show.
In May 2011, Rodimer was accused of punching a man in the head outside a Naples nightclub.
The man, whom Rodimer knew from law school, along with three witnesses, said Rodimer’s attack appeared unprovoked. Those four people and another witness all said Rodimer ran away from the scene. The man, whose name was redacted in court documents, initially said he didn’t want to press charges but changed his mind.
Rodimer later went to police with a witness of his own and asked to press charges against the man. He told police that the man had become upset with Rodimer when the wrestler winked at the man’s girlfriend. Rodimer and his witness told police that the man grabbed Rodimer’s face and put his fingers in his eye, causing damage. They told police they left in a taxi.
The sheriff’s office forwarded the case to the state’s attorney’s office, which declined to file charges. The records do not indicate why.
In another incident reported in March 2013, a bartender working at a night club and restaurant in Naples told the sheriff’s office that Rodimer “sucker punched” him in the face. The bartender said he had asked Rodimer, a customer, to have his girlfriend lower her skirt because several male customers were trying to look up her skirt.
Rodimer told the bartender not to disrespect his girlfriend and then struck him, according to the bartender whose name was redacted in the documents.
The bartender told the sheriff’s office that his boss warned him not to report the incident because the restaurant did not have insurance and he was not “on the books” as an employee. The sheriff’s records do not make it clear why the case did not result in criminal charges.
In addition to the three accusations of assault, sheriff’s records from Pinellas County, Florida, detail a 2006 domestic disturbance call in which a neighbor called police to the wrestler’s apartment in Dunedin. Rodimer and his girlfriend were arguing loudly over another man having called the girlfriend. Both Rodimer and his girlfriend told police the argument escalated and got loud but nothing physical occurred. Sheriff’s records show nothing further on the incident.
Rodimer last year unsuccessfully ran for a state Senate seat in Nevada. He is among several candidates running in a Republican primary for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, which is held by Democrat Susie Lee.
His primary opponents include former Nevada state treasurer Dan Schwartz and realtor Zachary WalkerLieb.
Democrats have a slight edge among registered voters in the district, which covers southwest Las Vegas, Henderson and Boulder City and extends to the borders with California and Arizona.