There are two takeaways from this tragic story which I’ve noted at the end of this post, after the clip. That is, if you have the perseverance and spiritual stamina to get through it in one mental piece.
A Pennsylvania man’s botched pro wrestling move killed his girlfriend’s 18-month-old son, authorities said.
Brandon Hoffman, 20, told state troopers he was roughhousing with the tike, practicing The Undertaker’s “Last Ride” when he slammed the toddler on the floor instead of a bed.
The boy, Bryson Shoemaker, suffered fatal head injuries and possibly a broken neck in the brutal takedown, authorities said.
Hoffman was babysitting on Tuesday at his sister’s apartment in Lycoming County while his girlfriend, Sierra Shoemaker, was at work. Instead of calling 911, he tried to perform CPR and eventually had his sister’s boyfriend drive them to the hospital.
“He came to me like, ‘I don’t know what happened. I dropped him,’” the sister’s boyfriend, Lonnie Stewart, told WNEP. “He was like real hysterical and everything.”
Hoffman was charged with involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault and endangering the welfare of a child.
The WWE blasted Hoffman’s “flimsy excuse” in the boy’s death.
“There is no excuse for a 20-year-old grown man to assault an 18-year-old child, no matter what,” the pro wrestling league said in a statement. “Using a flimsy excuse about emulating a wrestling maneuver does not absolve Brandon Hoffman of this abhorrent crime. The death of Bryson Shoemaker is a tragedy, and WWE offers its condolences to the child’s mother, Sierra Shoemaker.”
The “Last Ride” is a signature move for The Undertaker, a towering villain in the pro wrestling world.
The muscle-bound performer swings his hapless opponent up onto his shoulders and raises them overhead before slamming them, back first, to the mat.
Hoffman’s sister described the bumbling 20-year-old’s deadly imitation as a tragic accident.
“I’m thinking this is a dream, and I’m going to wake up,” the sister, Angelina Hoffman, told WNEP.
Friends have started an online fundraising to help pay for the child’s funeral.
The takeaways I promised you?
1) Pro wrestling fans and children, much less brains, are an ill-fated combo.
2) The NY Daily News is one of the most wretched, gaudy news sites I’ve ever had the misfortune of splashing across my computer monitor.