"If I couldn't have handled myself, that dude would have raped me," Marty Jannetty said in an interview with the Millennium Wrestling Federation

By Chris Harris
August 07, 2020 11:56 AM
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Former WWE wrestler Marty Jannetty is speaking out about his Facebook post suggesting he may have killed a man in Georgia when he was 13.

Jannetty, 60, spoke to the New England-based Millennium Wrestling Federation on August 5, hours after a message he'd posted to Facebook attracted the attention of numerous media outlets — and authorities in Columbus, Georgia.

During the interview, Jannetty reaffirmed his social media claims, saying he acted in self-defense, repeatedly hitting a man in the head with a brick after the man tried to rape him.

He explained he was working at a Columbus bowling alley at the time, and tried to buy marijuana from the man. "I got in the guy's car, and he gave me the bag of weed but he reached over and grabbed me down there," he said. "I did not expect [that], because it [wasn't] the first day I'd met him. I knew him."

Jannetty claims in the interview he went to leave the car, and the man got upset.

"He jumped out of the car and he came around, grabbed me by my hair," Jannetty said. "When he grabbed me by the hair, I couldn't get away." He alleged the man, who stood 6-feet- tall, dragged him behind the bowling alley, where he attempted to pull down his shorts and rape him.

"If I couldn't have handled myself, that dude would have raped me," he said.

When asked to clarify that statement, he responded: "I probably don't need to say this, but there was a brick laying there. It was the right thing [to do] in the moment. I didn't know how to handle that. I ain't never tried to be raped before. I was scared, I won't lie."

In the Facebook post, Jannetty claimed that, after bludgeoning him, he made his attacker "disappear," saying it was the first time he had ever done such a thing.

"They never found him," the post to his Facebook account reads. "They shoulda looked in the Chattahoochie River."

During his interview with the Millennium Wrestling Federation, which can be heard via YouTube, the host tells Jannetty that the man deserved what happened to him.

"I can't say he deserved to be killed," Jannetty offers. "I can't say he deserved to die, but he deserved to get his ass beat, and when I was beating him in the head with the brick, I was only trying to beat his ass — I wasn't trying to kill him."

Jannetty said the alleged incident changed him forever.

"When that s--- happened to me, that hurt me, man," Jannetty explained. "I was upset. Dragging him to the river and throwing him in and finding out on the news this guy's missing ... that f------ affected me bad, bro. It hurt me and I made my mind up that day: No one would ever hurt me again."

Jannetty said in the interview, "I am not saying he died," before adding, "No other kids had to worry about him."

In addition, he told the host he's "got nothing against gay people."

The original Facebook post has been deleted. He said he was inspired to write it following a recent falling out with a girlfriend.

PEOPLE spoke to Columbus Police Department Captain Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick about Jannetty's claims on Thursday. Dent-Fitzpatrick said investigators are looking into the post.

"We were very shocked at the post and we are taking it very seriously and we are looking into it," she told PEOPLE. "We jumped right on it when we got it. It is a serious allegation. It is a serious post."

Dent-Fitzpatrick said the case has been assigned to a special victim's unit detective who also handles cold cases.

"Right now we are looking at it as a missing person case," she said. "We are trying to reach out to people who may have been here during that timeframe or know something about someone missing during that timeframe to give us some insight."

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Dent-Fitzpatrick said detectives will be focusing on the years 1973, 1974 and 1975.

"It is going to be very daunting," she said. "We just need some time and a lot of people are helping."

PEOPLE has reached out to the former wrestler for comment, but received no response.

Anyone with information about the alleged incident is asked to call the Columbus Police Department at (706) 653-3349 or (706) 653-3400.

• With reporting by CHRISTINE PELISEK