"Big Brother" Contestant Was Wanted Woman

CBS reality roomie's resume includes theft and DWI arrests

View Document

"Big Brother" Contestant Was Wanted Woman

JULY 21--Days before the sixth-season debut of "Big Brother," a contestant on the CBS reality show finally answered a 3-1/2-year-old arrest warrant issued for her failure to appear in a Los Angeles court to face a misdemeanor theft charge.

Janelle Pierzina, a 25-year-old cocktail waitress, was charged in December 2001 with stealing merchandise from Macy's. But when she didn't show for an initial court appearance, a Superior Court judge issued a bench warrant for Pierzina's arrest. Six months later, a second bench warrant was issued. In April 2004, a third bench warrant was issued, with a judge this time setting the warrant's bond at $30,000, up from $2500.

On June 24--two weeks before "Big Brother 6" bowed--Pierzina pleaded to the petty theft rap and was fined $982 and ordered to stay at least 100 yards from the retailer. Who says a crass reality TV series can't serve the public good?

Pierzina's rap sheet also includes an August 2000 drunk driving arrest in Duluth, Minnesota (her mug shot from that bust is here). After initially failing to appear for her February 2001 arraignment (which resulted in another pesky beach warrant being issued for her), Pierzina pleaded in June 2002 to a misdemeanor DWI count and was hit with a 60-day suspended jail term, placed on a year's probation, fined $1000, and directed to enroll in an alcohol education program.

When Pierzina failed to timely complete the booze ed course, a June 2003 violation of probation hearing was scheduled. When she did not show for that court session, a District Court judge signed a bench warrant for her arrest.

More than a year later, on June 30, 2004, the warrant was vacated when Pierzina finally appeared for a court hearing that ended with Judge Gerald Maher extending her probation for six months and ordering Pierzina (again) to attend an alcohol education program.

Pierzina, who apparently completed that program in North Carolina, has since decamped to Miami Beach, where, according to the CBS web site, she toils as a "VIP cocktail waitress." (4 pages)