Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Second driver in Bollea car crash gets probation

Courtesy the Bollea family
Daniel Jacobs, left, John Graziano, center, and Nicolas Bollea were involved a car crash in Clearwater in August. Jacobs has pleaded no contest to reckless driving.

Courtesy the Bollea family Daniel Jacobs, left, John Graziano, center, and Nicolas Bollea were involved a car crash in Clearwater in August. Jacobs has pleaded no contest to reckless driving.

CLEARWATER — Daniel Jacobs, the young man witnesses saw racing Nick Bollea moments before his car wreck, was sentenced to 90 days of probation Thursday.

Jacobs, 22, pleaded no contest to reckless driving. He was also fined $500 and told to do 25 hours of community service.

Jacobs' attorney, Nathaniel Kidder, didn't return calls for comment.

Witnesses said Jacobs was driving a silver Viper and playing a high-speed game of cat and mouse with Bollea's yellow Toyota Supra before Bollea crashed into a tree near downtown Clearwater the night of Aug. 26.

The crash critically injured Bollea's friend and passenger John Graziano, 23.

Bollea, 17, is the son of professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and appeared in the VH-1 reality TV show Hogan Knows Best. He faces a charge of reckless driving with serious bodily injury in connection with the wreck. He has pleaded not guilty.

Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser said he does not anticipate calling Jacobs to testify in Bollea's criminal trial.

"I have at least 10 other people in the community that all state that Nicolas Bollea and Danny Jacobs were racing," he said.

Rosenwasser also said an accident reconstructionist found Bollea was driving 69 mph at the time of the accident.

Graziano, an Iraq War veteran, remains at the James A. Haley VA Medical Center in Tampa. His father, Ed Graziano, said the family would not release information about his condition.

Also this week, a hearing officer with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles set aside an administrative suspension of Bollea's license. That suspension was based on a blood-alcohol test taken after Bollea's crash.

The test showed Bollea had a blood-alcohol level of 0.05 percent the night of the crash. Florida law allows for the suspension of licenses of drivers under 21 who have a blood-alcohol level of 0.02 or higher.

In a one-page order, however, a state hearing officer "determined that there was not enough information to support the administrative suspension." The order did not elaborate on the decision.

"The decision made by the administrative hearing officer is based on his review and not the actions of the police," said Ann Nucatola, a spokeswoman for the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Despite the finding, Bollea's license remains suspended for two reasons, Nucatola said. First, Bollea has an unpaid fine on an unrelated offense, she said. Also, he is charged with an offense that could result in the revocation of his driver's license.

Bollea's attorney, Kevin Hayslett said he made two arguments: The Clearwater Police Department used outdated and improper blood draw forms and there was no probable cause for the forcible blood draw.

However, Hayslett said the blood alcohol level is not a major part of the criminal case against Bollea.

"So at the end of the day, it may have no consequence on the criminal case," he said.

Elizabeth Daly-Watts, a spokeswoman for the Clearwater Police Department, said she could not comment because the department had not received the ruling Thursday.

Rosenwasser, the assistant state attorney, said the finding will have no affect on the criminal case.

Reach Tamara El-Khoury at [email protected] or (727)445-4181.

Second driver in Bollea car crash gets probation 02/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, February 28, 2008 11:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Astros rout Yankees to force Game 7 of AL Championship Series


    HOUSTON — Justin Verlander pitched seven shutout innings to outduel Luis Severino for the second time, and the Astros bats came alive in their return home as Houston routed the Yankees 7-1 Friday night and forced a decisive Game 7 in the American League Championship Series.

    The Astros’ Brian McCann, who has struggled during the ALCS, breaks a scoreless tie with an RBI double during the fifth inning off Yankees starter Luis Severino.
  2. Review: Faith Hill and Tim McGraw shower love, star power on Tampa's Amalie Arena


    Near the end of their potent new duet Break First, Tim McGraw stopped singing, and let Faith Hill's powerhouse voice take over.

    Faith Hill and Tim McGraw performed at Amalie Arena in Tampa on Oct. 20, 2017.
  3. Senate to take up AUMF debate as Trump defends reaction to Niger attack


    WASHINGTON — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is taking up a long-awaited debate about authorizing military force against the Islamic State as President Trump comes under unprecedented public scrutiny for his treatment of dead soldiers' families, following an ambush on troops helping to fight Islamic …

  4. In fear and vigilance, a Tampa neighborhood holds its breath


    TAMPA — There was a time, not long ago, when Wayne Capaz would go for a stroll at night and Christina Rodriguez would shop whenever she wanted. Michael Fuller would go to his night job as a line cook, not too worried about his wife at home.

    More than 50 people gathered and walked in the Southeast Seminole Heights community Friday to pay respects to the victims of three shootings. The crowd took a moment of silence at the corner of 11th Street and East New Orleans where Monica Hoffa was found dead. [JONATHAN CAPRIEL  |  Times]
  5. Fennelly: What's not to like about Lightning's start?

    Lightning Strikes

    BRANDON — No one is engraving the Stanley Cup. No one has begun stuffing the league MVP ballot box for Nikita Kucherov.

    The Lightning, with a win tonight, would match the best start in franchise history, 7-1-1 in the 2003-04 Cup season.