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Wrestler nabs hit-run bolter
Corners impaired driver for police
By DAVID SCHMEICHEL - Winnipeg Sun


Ryan Wood

A lesson to motorists: If you're going to commit a hit-and-run, don't do it while a wrestler is watching. Local grappler "Red Hot" Ryan Wood traded in body slams for a little roadside excitement last Monday, after witnessing an accident caused by an impaired driver who fled the scene.

A 21-year-old rassler with Action Wrestling Entertainment -- a local independent company -- Wood decided to chase the driver down, tailing him through Transcona for more than half an hour before police arrived to make an arrest.

"I guess he knew he was in some trouble," Wood said of the driver.

The events began about 5:30 p.m. Monday, when Wood saw an apparently impaired driver set off a series of accidents by rear-ending another car on Lagimodiere Boulevard at the intersection of Dugald Road.

Though he wasn't involved in the chain reaction, Wood -- who has also worked as a wrestling referee -- got out of his car to play peacemaker, suggesting everyone move to an unoccupied stretch of curb lane to exchange information.

That's when the driver who'd caused the accidents bolted and drove east on Dugald.

"And that's when I got in my car and followed him," said Wood, who'll face former World Wrestling Entertainment cruiser weight champion Jamie Noble at the March 11 AWE event at University of Manitoba.

After calling 911 and telling an operator what was going on, Wood followed the driver as best he could, figuring he might be in for some rough stuff when the driver's car got hung up on a boulevard.

"I was worried he was just going to ram me with his car," Wood said. "I guess I was more worried about my car, because it's new."

Wood finally cornered the driver on Dugald Road and Ravenhurst Street, which is where police were able to apprehend him.

Wood returned to the scene of the accident to let the other drivers know the suspect had been picked up. They tried to reward him, but Wood was having none of it.

"Praise is good to have, but it's not why you do a good deed," he said.

The modesty is characteristic of Wood, according to his wrestling buddy "Beautiful" Bobby Jay. "Ryan's a pretty hyper guy," Jay said. "There was one time some kids were throwing snowballs at our van, and he got out of the car and chased them down and made them apologize. This wouldn't be the first time he did something like this."