DOCUMENT: Sports, Crime

A Wrestling Star's Unsavory Past

View Document

A Wrestling Star's Unsavory Past

We'll admit it: TSG loves John "Stuttering John"Melendez, the crass Howard Stern sidekick who poses all those terrible questions to celebrities. But we're worried for John's safety following his recent run-in with wrestler Booker T., a volatile member of promoter Vince McMahon's stable (a typical John query was "How do you spell WWF?"). Because the 36-year-old wrestler,whose full name is Booker Tio Huffman, is a convicted felon who spent 19 months in prison after pleading guilty to armed robberies at Wendy's restaurants in Houston. And it gets better than that. Huffman and his cohorts actually wore Wendy's uniforms during the holdups. Which wasn't much of a reach for Booker T.,since he had flipped burgers for 2-1/2 years at one Wendy's branch (where Huffman was still working when his three-month crime spree began). In fact, Huffman was employed at that southeast Houston Wendy's when his buddies came in one day and robbed the joint.Because of the gunmen's uniforms and familiarity with the fast food chain's operations, police suspected the robberies were inside jobs--and it didn't take long before Huffman and three other men were nabbed (that's Booker's booking photo at left). Huffman pleaded guilty in December 1987 to two aggravated robbery counts and was sentenced to five years in the can. He was released after serving about one-third of that term, and was placed on parole until April 1992. Here are a few documents from Huffman's District Court file:

Page 1: The smiling bandit.

Pages 2-3: Two robbery indictments.

Page 4: Huffman interview report.

Page 5: Defense motion mentions Wendy's spree.

Pages 6-7: Police narrative of one stickup.

Pages 8-9: Victims ID Booker in cop lineup.