The following press release was issued today, according to PWInsider:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 25, 2006
U.S. Marshals Task Force Arrests Professional Wrestler for Civil Contempt
Pensacola, FL – The United States Marshals North Florida Violent Fugitive Task Force arrested Solafa Fatu Jr., aka “Rakishi”, at 12 noon today after a vehicle stop on Highway 98 near the Naval Hospital. The 41 year old, 6 foot 2 inch, 400 pound wrestler was taken into custody without any resistance. A Federal District Judge for the Northern District of Florida issued a warrant for his arrest on September 1st of this year, after Fatu failed to appear at a show cause hearing, carrying a charge of civil contempt. Originally, the U.S. Marshals Office in Pensacola repeatedly attempted to locate Fatu to serve him with a civil subpoena but was unable to find him. The Task Force’s investigation eventually led them to discover he was in Italy during that period and touring with a newly formed Italian wrestling organization, the NU-WRESTLING Evolution (NWE). The investigation revealed that it appeared as though Fatu returned several weeks ago. Once the Task Force learned that, they started searching for him again locally.
“Despite his size and the persona that goes with his profession, he (Fatu) was a gentleman,” said Marshals spokesman Dominic Guadagnoli.
Fatu, who has appeared under numerous other names throughout his career, first came to fame in the 1980’s when he wrestled in the WWF as a part of the Samoan Swat Team. He has wrestled with all of the top names in the sport some such as Hulk Hogan, The Undertaker, Steve Austin and Triple H to name a few. Fatu claims to be related to other famous wrestles such as The Rock, The Tonga Kid, Jimmy Snuka and Okazuna.
Fatu was remanded to Escambia County Jail until his hearing in federal court.
Rikishi is a former WWE Intercontinental Champion and two-time WWE Tag Team Champion. He is The Rock and Yokozuna’s cousin and brothers with Umaga and Tonga Kid. He has seen recent success promoting shows for Nu-Wrestling Evolution in Italy with other former WWE/WCW stars, and there have recently been rumors that talks were taking place to bring him back to WWE.