Brian Blair arrested, accused of beating up his sons

June 22nd, 2009 by

TBO.com
TAMPA – Former Hillsborough County Commissioner Brian Blair was arrested early this morning, accused of beating up his two sons on Father’s Day.

Blair, 52, was arrested at 5:12 a.m. at his Forest Hills home, 12702 Boulevard N., and booked about 12:45 p.m. at the Orient Road Jail.

Here’s what happened, according to an arrest report:

Shortly before 4 a.m., Blair pushed his 17-year-old son, Brett, in the chest at the family’s home. When the boy tried to walk away, Blair grabbed him, punched him in the face and put him in a choke hold, making it tough for his son to breathe. Then Blair turned his attention to his younger son, Bradley. He grabbed the boy by the throat and punched him in the head, leaving a mark. Bradley is listed as being 13 on Blair’s campaign Web site, though the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office report filed after Blair’s arrest Sunday says he is 12.

The arrest report does not say what sparked the confrontation.

Blair, a former professional wrestler, stands 6 feet tall, weighs 235 pounds, and is described as having a muscular build in the arrest report.

He is being held without bail, a common procedure in domestic violence cases. His first appearance hearing is scheduled for this morning before Judge Walter Heinrich, and bail is likely to be considered then.

He faces two domestic violence charges of child abuse, jail records show. The charges are third-degree felonies.

“He’s in a bad situation. I hate to see it,” friend Dick Rivett said Sunday in front of the Blairs’ home.

Rivett, who said he was speaking on behalf of Blair’s wife Toni, described Blair as a loving father and husband who was “always bragging about his kids.”

“He’s basically a real good guy,” Rivett said. “He’s one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.”

Rivett said Toni Blair is shaken up about what happened but didn’t elaborate. He said he didn’t ask Toni Blair how her sons were doing or about the circumstances surrounding the alleged attack.

Neighbor Sourour Moughamir said she has lived near the Blairs for 10 years and never heard or saw anything unusual. Blair’s arrest shocked her.

“I thought it was not true,” Moughamir said. “They’re very good neighbors.”

Sunday was not the first time Blair has been accused of attacking someone. In 1984, he was investigated by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office after detectives said he beat a former girlfriend. He was never arrested or charged in that case.

Blair denied the accusation in a 2002 interview.

“That’s why it got dropped, because it wasn’t true,” Blair said. “If it was anything, I would have been arrested.”

Blair was accused of throwing the woman over a couch, striking her 10 to 12 times in the head and face, then pulling out a patch of her hair. The sheriff’s office listed the case as active for more than a month.

“I’ve never been a violent person or a mean person or a spiteful person,” Blair said in 2002.

As a county commissioner, Blair called domestic violence “an intolerable and horrible crime” yet voted last year to cut funding for a county-sponsored domestic violence crisis center.

A conservative Republican who stressed family values, Blair was elected to the county commission in 2004 but lost a heated election last year to Kevin Beckner.

“It’s an unfortunate event that happened, especially on Father’s Day,” Beckner said Sunday. “My thoughts and prayers are with his children and the entire Blair family.”

Blair has been under a lot of stress since losing his commission seat, Rivett said.

In March, Blair filed a lawsuit claiming Beckner had falsely accused him of “self-dealing, taking action to harm women and children and supporting racism.”

“There’s a complete difference between negative campaigning and false campaigning,” Blair said after filing the lawsuit. “This has had a profound effect on my children, my entire family.”

A graduate of Tampa Bay Technical High School, Blair rose to fame in the 1980s as part of the World Wrestling Federation tag-team the Killer Bees. At the height of his career, he performed at Wrestlemania III in front of more than 90,000 fans in Pontiac, Mich.

Blair parlayed his wrestling earnings to buy a Gold’s Gym franchises. In 1998, he sold three of the gyms for nearly $2 million, court documents show. Sunday’s arrest report lists him as unemployed.

Blair and his second wife, Toni, have been married for 22 years. Since 1997, he and his family have been members of Idlewild Baptist Church, according to his campaign Web site.

In his online biography, Blair wrote that he has devoted more than 6,000 hours in community service, including managing and coaching baseball for Forest Hills Pony League.


One Response

  1. Eric

    Brian Blair is faggot

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