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Court Bars Boys From Watching Wrestling

July 31, 1985

NEW YORK (AP) _ Two teen-age brothers can no longer watch Hulk Hogan, ″Rowdy″ Roddy Piper or the Iron Sheik, a judge ruled after learning they were so obsessed with professional wrestling that one applied a ″sleeper″ hold on his mother.

The wrestling ″hyped up″ the boys, aged 16 and 13, for hours, resulting in their re-enacting the matches at home and injuring one another, said Staten Island Family Court Judge Daniel D. Leddy Jr.

Leddy on Monday barred them from viewing televised wrestling.

According to court papers, the younger of the two would often assume the persona of Piper - one of wrestling’s most notorious ″bad guys″ - and address his mother ″in a bizarre manner, shaking violently″ while describing ″the terrible things he was going to do her.″

The boys became so violent in practicing ″body slams,″ ″choke locks″ and ″figure-four leg locks″ that they inflicted injuries on one another, the court papers said.

On one occasion, the younger boy even tried a ″sleeper hold″ on his mother as she was stir-frying vegetables in the kitchen, but she managed to break the hold without injury to herself, court papers said.

The boys’ ″fundamental well-being demands that they cease being subjected to violence and the portrayal of violence in their home,″ Leddy said.

He threatened to have the television removed from the family’s home if his order is ignored, or to have the boys placed in a foster home.

Leddy did not reveal the names of family members in his four-page decision.

The court obtained jurisdiction of the case a year ago when the boys were labeled neglected children because of injuries inflicted on the eldest by his father. The father has been ordered to stay away from the family home.

The judge said he learned of the boys’ obsession with wrestling from their mother, who said her sons pretended to be certain well-known wrestlers.

The judge noted the mother had not taken any ″meaningful steps″ to stop her sons from watching wrestling and that she was a regular wrestling viewer.

The judge said the influence of TV wrestling on the boys was magnified because of the violence in the home.

Leddy’s decision was based on a section of the Family Court Act which permits judges to set ″reasonable″ behavioral conditions for parents.

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