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Pro wrestler Kurt Angle pleads guilty to reckless driving

Kurt Angle

GRAND FORKS - The pro wrestler found apparently intoxicated behind the wheel of his vehicle in the ditch south of Grand Forks last month pleaded guilty to the charge of reckless driving Tuesday.

Kurt Angle didn't appear in the courtroom before the judge who sentenced him Friday to a year of probation and fines and 10 days, all suspended, in jail.

Angle, 42, of Pennsylvania, was arrested March 25 when a North Dakota Highway Patrol officer found him sitting behind the wheel of an SUV in the median of Interstate 29 near the Thompson exit, about 10 miles south of Grand Forks.

Angle, a gold medal wrestler in the 1996 Olympics, was on his way to a pro wrestling appearance in the Alerus Center. Angle first said snow and ice sent him into the ditch, but the trooper pointed out the road was clear and dry. Angle then said he was distracted by a text message on his cellphone.

The trooper smelled alcohol in the SUV and Angle failed a field sobriety test and was charged with being in physical control of a vehicle while intoxicated. He was booked into the Grand Forks County jail, where he spent an hour or two before bailing out.

Because his blood alcohol level was barely over the 0.8 percent threshold, and he didn't have prior drunken-driving convictions, the Grand Forks County state's attorney's office reduced the charged to reckless driving.

Angle pleaded guilty April 8 through local attorney Alex Reichert to the reckless driving charge