Even with a high-speed Internet connection, I only now heard back from prosecutors in Flemington, New Jersey, about whatever became of Christopher Joseph Polovina, the Newport Beach professional surfer who pleaded guilty to repeatedly threatening his ex-wife.
Fortunately for the 34-year-old who was once considered a fugitive from justice, he likely avoided more jail time as though it were a monster break holding him underwater.
Polovina and the court agreed to a plea deal on Jan. 25 that puts him on probation for four years as long as he fulfills certain conditions, according to Detective Edmund J. DeFilippis Jr. of the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office. They are: obtain substance-abuse and mental-health evaluations; follow all recommendations of both, plus attend and complete anger-management counseling; submit to random drug screens; and pay restitution for extradition expenses.
He has already spent 16 days in jail and paid various fines and penalties related to his case. Polovina will head back to lockup should he violate probation or a permanent restraining order forbidding him from getting near his ex-wife, DeFilippis said.
The surfer admitted in court to threatening his ex-wife over two days in February 2009, during which he made 19 calls to her when she resided in Hunterdon County's Delaware Township. A bench warrant was issued when Polovina failed to appear at a court hearing four months later.
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He was considered a fugitive when he was later picked up by authorities in Nicaragua, whose shores Polovina surfed. He was let go when his crimes were not considered serious enough to warrant extradition proceedings. Finally, last November, Polovina was picked up on a warrant at a Florida airport.
Polovina pleaded guilty to making terroristic threats, stalking and violating a restraining order. Without the plea deal, he was looking at three to eight years in a New Jersey prison.