By Sasha Savitsky
Published May 30, 2019
Former WWE star Terri Runnels took to Twitter to offer an explanation after she was arrested Wednesday in Florida for bringing a loaded handgun into an airport.
The wrestling staple was arrested by the Tampa International Airport Police at a security checkpoint where she was found to be in possession of a loaded Glock 9mm handgun, police told Fox News.
In a two-minute video posted on Twitter, the 52-year-old said she "wanted to take a hot minute" to explain why she packed heat to go to the airport.
"When I go to see my mom, I pack my gun because she has armadillos that ruin her garden and other critters that go after her chickens," a distressed Runnels said.
She went on to explain that she only got "eight hours of sleep in three days" and woke up at 4 a.m. for her flight home.
"Literally, it did not even cross my mind that my gun was in my Vera Bradley tote that I always take on the plane with me," she explained.
The wrestler said she has "never been in trouble in my life and it scared the hell out of me."
She called the incident "a simple mistake" and added, "dear God it was horrible."
She then asked for fans to pray for her because she is still "scared."
"I don't even know what to say because I'm going to start crying so I'm going to shut up but I at least wanted you guys to know what mistake I had made and what happened."
Police tell Fox News on Wednesday that Runnels was charged with a single count of carrying a concealed firearm – a class three felony.
She was booked into the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office three hours later where she posted a $2,000 surety bond and was released a short time afterward.
The charge carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and up to $5,000 in fines.