Voices From the Heartland · Jeff Meyer · Wednesday August 1, 2007
19-year-old Steve Wallace, son of 1989 Cup champ Rusty Wallace, reported earlier this week he was mugged outside a convenience store in Broad Ripple by a trio of thugs intent on stealing his watch.
Veteran BSNews Super Sleuth Stu Padasso and intern Jack Sophalotte were immediately dispatched to investigate, and have reported that a shocking arrest has been made in the case.
According to Wallace, he was entering the convenience store when three men made a comment to him about the watch he was wearing. While Wallace was a bit elusive about just exactly what was said, he did indicate that the watch in question was a gift given to him after winning a stock car race last year at Iowa Speedway in Newton, Iowa – a track which his father's company, Rusty Wallace Inc., had recently built.
According to the RWI press release, upon exiting the store, Wallace said the men attacked him, and a scuffle ensued. While no actual eyewitness accounts have been cited, reports say the attackers fled the scene, apparently without the watch in question, leaving the young Wallace with a few cuts and abrasions – but luckily, no worse for the wear.
Actual police reports indicate that Wallace was later contacted by authorities and taken to a parking lot, in hopes of identifying a suspect in the case that had recently been apprehended. Wallace identified the man as his attacker, and the suspect was subsequently arrested and booked in a local jail on a battery charge. However, no explanation was given as to how a group of three attackers suddenly became one man.
Now, BSNews has learned the reason behind the cover-up. While the arrested suspect initially told police his name was Mark Tharpe, his true identity is in fact one Loren Wallace, 11, a distant relative of the victim.
During an exclusive interview from his room at the aptly named Wallace Juvenile Detention Facility (aka, his bedroom), to which the young attacker had been transferred to shortly after his arrest, the young Wallace admitted that jealousy was the motive for the attack.
"That side of the family has everything," said a visibly misty-eyed Loren. "They get all the publicity, all the opportunities. Oh sure, once in a while we distant cousins get invited to a reunion or something, or maybe a fishing trip when they want someone to bait their hooks…but most of the time, we are just forgotten."
"Yeah, I got a bit of attention when they asked me to do a couple of commercials with Mike, who they tell me is a cousin that has been removed three times or something like that. They never did tell me what he had been removed from, but up till then, I never even met the guy before," said Loren. "My mom told me it would be a good thing to do. That maybe some day they could help me in my racing career. That's what this is all about. That was supposed to be MY watch. Mike told me that his brother Rusty would let ME race in Iowa. I've seen that Steve kid race. I know I'm better than him!"
The commercials featuring Loren and Mike Wallace – current driver of the Geico Insurance car in NASCAR's Busch Series, who is actually Loren’s third cousin, once removed – were quite popular amongst the general populace.
"People just have no clue how these people will take advantage of you. Then, when I saw that other kid wearing MY watch, well, I got so mad, I just wanted to ram his head into a wall!"
While it is long established that Mike Wallace is Loren's third cousin, once removed, BSNews reporters Stu Padasso and Jack Sophalotte are still at odds as to what the EXACT relationship is between Steve Wallace and the young Loren. The duo were last seen gesturing wildly at each other at a local bar accompanied by a broad and a bottle of Ripple, arguing over hastily scribbled diagrams of genealogy on cocktail napkins. Anyone with news as to their current whereabouts is asked to contact their local BSNews affiliate.
BSNews! Your first thought is our first name.
Stay off the wall, (tough to do if Loren's around!)
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