Police report: Nick Hogan was driving 100 MPH, Hulk bought him beer
By Christopher Rocchio, 11/29/2007
Additional details surrounding the August car crash involving Hogan Knows Best co-star Nick Hogan were released by the Clearwater Police Department on Tuesday, including that the 17-year-old was driving in excess of 100 MPH just prior to the crash and was seen purchasing five cases of beer in a local liquor store earlier in the day with his father Terrence "Hulk Hogan" Bollea.
Nick was driving his father's 1998 Toyota Supra when he lost control and hit a raised median, spinning the vehicle and causing its rear end to strike a palm tree.
Police initially alleged Nick was driving 60MPH at the time of the crash in a stretch of road with a 40MPH speed limit.
However according to the document, Daniel Jacobs -- who was driving a silver Dodge Viper also owned by Hulk that witnesses claimed Nick was street racing prior to the crash -- was overheard confiding in a pastor outside of Bayfront Medical Center that he was actually driving in excess of 100 MPH at the time of the crash, the St. Petersburg Timesreported.
Jacobs conversation with the pastor was overheard by Linda Berry-Robinson, the mother of Graziano's girlfriend, according to the document. While Nick's attorney Morris "Sandy" Weinberg told the Times he had not yet seen the document, he added his client was not driving 100 MPH.
"The scientific evidence doesn't support anything like that," Weinberg told the Times.
The document states an accident reconstruction by investigators found the Supra that Nick was driving was traveling between 61 and 66 MPH, The Tampa Tribunereported, adding the speed range does not take into consideration the loss of vehicle energy when the car jumped the median and hit the tree.
Both Nick and Graziano were taken to Bayfront following the crash, and according to the document Nick informed police he was traveling 30 or 40 MPH. However the Times reported Clearwater police investigator Todd Turpack wrote in his original report that Nick was unaware what road he was traveling on and which direction he was heading , adding Nick's speech was also "mumbled and soft" and his eyes were bloodshot.
Nick's other attorney Kevin Hayslett was also at Bayfront following the crash, and The Tribune reported the document states once it was clear Nick was suspected of committing a crime, he stopped talking to police. While Hayslett said Nick refused to voluntarily have his blood drawn following the crash, the document states it was taken anyway.
Following a more than two month investigation by police, Nick was arrested on charges of reckless driving involving serious bodily injury.
In addition, Nick's "ethanol serum level" was 0.055% approximately two hours after the crash. Because the blood-alcohol level at which Florida law presumes a driver to be impaired is 0.08%, Nick was also charged with using a motor vehicle in commission of a felony; being a driver under 21 operating a vehicle with a breath-alcohol level of 0.02% or higher; and having illegal window tinting.
The Clearwater Police Department document includes a $78 receipt from Albertson's Liquor Store at 2:14PM on the day of the crash that covered the purchase of two cases of Miller Lite beer; two cases of Corona beer; one case of Miller Chill beer; and five bags of ice, according to The Tribune. June Hoopingarer, an Albertson's clerk, stated in the document that Hulk bought the beer and was accompanied by Nick and several other young men, the Times reported.
The document states Nick, his friends and Hulk spent the day of the crash on a boat docked at Clearwater Beach's Shepard's Beach Resort. While all of Nick's friends -- who are over the age of 21 -- were drinking beer, according to the Times, no one reported seeing Nick drinking beer even though it was subsequently found in his system.
Shepard's head of security Jeremy T. Whitson told police Nick and several other people got off Hulk's boat and attempted to enter the resort's tiki bar between 5PM and 6PM the day of the crash, according to the Times. All of the people held a beer bottle in their hand except for Nick, who instead held a plastic cup. Whitson said the group was not allowed entry because they lacked proper identification, the Times reported.
An 11-minute tape of the 911 calls made by various witnesses of the crash were also released by the county dispatch system on Tuesday. According to the Times, one woman claimed the Supra driven by Nick and Viper driven by Jacobs pulled up on either side of her at an intersection and the drivers "kind of acknowledged each other."
"The light turned green, and they hauled serious a**; they were weaving around," said the witness, according to the Times. "The [Viper] smoked the [Supra], and the [Supra] completely lost control and flipped over and turned and twisted."
In addition, The Tribune reported the document contains an eyewitness account from a motorcyclist who motioned the Viper into position at the intersection because he "didn't want to get involved in what was obviously a race." Jacobs told police he and Nick often "get on it," which the Times reported means they drive fast between traffic lights. Jacobs reportedly caught the aftermath of the Supra's crash in the Viper's rearview mirror.
"Oh my God," Jacobs was quoted as saying, The Tribune reported.
According to a supplemental report, Jacobs then drove to the Hogan's home before Hulk arrived at the scene of the crash roughly 10 to 15 minutes later. A Clearwater police officer allowed a "distraught" Hulk to move closer to the wreck as Nick was being extricated, according to The Tribune, because the officer was "concerned there might be a problem if he physically tried to stop [Hulk] from approaching the scene."
In addition, The Tribune reported a sergeant drove Hulk to Bayfront following the crash because there was concern he would speed to get there.
Nick wasn't the only one charged by Clearwater police after the crash, as Jacobs was also given a summons to appear in court on charges of reckless driving. According to the Times, the 22-year-old Jacobs refused to give consent to have his blood drawn by police after the crash because he was afraid results would show marijuana in his system.
Graziano remains in critical condition at Tampa's James A. Haley VA Medical Center. According to the Clearwater documents, The Tribune reported at least one paramedic did not think Graziano -- who had a "finger-size hole" in his forehead -- was alive following the crash.
"There's no way this guy's alive," a 911 caller told a dispatcher, according to The Tribune.
Recent reports have suggested that if Graziano were to die due to injuries suffered during the crash, prosecutors would "upgrade" the charges against Nick. In addition, Graziano's parents reportedly feel a lawsuit against the Hogans will be necessary to pay for their son's long-term care.