As a Plantation police officer responding in 1995 to a hostage situation, Joe Alu was blown up by a bad guy — and that was before his life became interesting. Alu was at the scene of another explosion in 2009, when the investments by his boss, Scott Rothstein, went up in flames. Alu, who has the tan and tattoos, the muscles and mullet of a professional wrestler, enjoyed a lucrative job as the Fort Lauderdale attorney's bodyguard. In the days after Rothstein bolted for Morocco with Ponzi loot, Alu defended his employer's reputation, declaring the allegations of fraud to be all "bullshit." Since that November, Alu has remained the soap opera's most colorful character. There was the falling-out between Alu and his fellow bodyguard, Bob Scandiffio, Alu's former best man, who was accused by Rothstein of extortion. Then there was the apparent tiff between Alu and Kim Rothstein, the pretty, diminutive blond whom Alu swore he'd protect from harm as long as he had a breath in his body and for whose sake he tussled with a pushy TV reporter after a January news conference. In February, Alu cryptically remarked that he wasn't going to be "baby-sitting" Kim Rothstein anymore only to reverse course yet again and insist that their partnership was hunky-dory. Alu also had a link to that other huge Broward news story — the federal sting that snared a county commissioner, a county School Board member, and a Miramar commissioner. It just so happened that an informant in that case was also named Alu — Joe's ex-wife, Sheila, a Sunrise commissioner. Somehow, one retired cop lingered near every major news story of the past year.