UFC Champion Charged With Attempted Murder After 11-Hour Car Chase
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Former UFC champion Cain Velasquez has been arrested and charged with murder following an 11-hour car chase.
The 39-year-old was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder on Monday, February 28, before being formally charged on Wednesday with attempted premeditated murder and multiple gun assault charges.
Velasquez has been accused of targeting Harry Eugene Goularte, who himself has been charged with allegedly molesting one of Velasquez's young relatives.
2/ Additional updates will be shared here when available.— San José Police Media Relations (@SJPD_PIO) March 1, 2022
Please avoid the area as we conduct our investigation. Traffic will be impacted in both directions on Monterey Hwy for several hours.
TOC: 3:14 PM
The incident is said to have taken place in San Jose, California on Monday, when the former fighter allegedly followed Goularte's truck in his own vehicle for an '11-mile, high-speed chase', according to a statement from the district attorney's office, cited by ESPN.
Velasquez allegedly slammed his truck into Goularte's vehicle before firing a 40-caliber handgun multiple times into the truck, in which Goularte and two older relatives, including Goularte's 63-year-old stepfather, Paul Bender, were travelling.
Bender was reportedly struck once in his arm and torso but is expected to survive.
4/ Cain Velasquez was the suspect arrested yesterday in connection with this incident. He was booked into Santa Clara County main jail for attempted murder.— San José Police Media Relations (@SJPD_PIO) March 1, 2022
The motive and circumstances surrounding this incident are still under investigation at this time. pic.twitter.com/bBuuPQytNx
Velasquez is said to have fled the scene after the shooting before being caught by police during a traffic stop following the incident. He was then charged with attempted murder; shooting at an occupied motor vehicle or aircraft; three counts of assault with a firearm; three counts of assault with a deadly weapon; willfully discharging a firearm from a vehicle; and carrying a loaded firearm with intent to commit a felony.
Commenting on the arrest, Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen said: 'The sad tragedy is that Mr. Velasquez chose to take the law into his own hands, endangering the public and everyone in the truck. This act of violence also causes more pain and suffering to his family.'
Velasquez's arraignment has been postponed until Monday, March 7, when a bail hearing is also set to take place. He is currently being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Main Jail North.
The fighter retired from MMA in 2019 after securing two UFC heavyweight championships and earning a reputation as one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time.
Goularte, who was not injured in the incident, has been accused of lewd or lascivious act upon a child under age 14 and was released from custody without bail last month under orders to stay in home detention, remain 100 yards away from any child under 14 and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet. He was allegedly on his way to obtain the bracelet when the car chase took place.