A two-time UFC champion is facing attempted murder charges in California after prosecutors said he chased down and shot at a man accused of molesting the athlete’s relative.
Cain Ramirez Velasquez, 39, was charged with attempted premeditated murder in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the district attorney’s office said in a news release. He had his first court appearance on March 2 but his arraignment has been postponed until Monday, March 7.
A spokesperson from the law firm Geragos & Geragos, which is representing Velasquez declined a request to comment from McClatchy News on March 3, saying they will likely hold a press conference after his arraignment.
Velasquez was pursuing Harry Goularte, who is facing felony charges related to the reported molestation of Velasquez’s “close family member,” the DA’s office 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,” District Attorney Jeff Rosen said in the release. “This act of violence also causes more pain and suffering to his family.”
Goularte, 43, was arraigned on Feb. 25 and released without bail, despite the DA’s objections. He was put on home detention and ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, which prosecutors said he was on his way to pick up when Velasquez reportedly came after him on Feb. 28.
The pursuit began around 3 p.m. after Velasquez shot at a Chevrolet Silverado truck carrying Goularte and two of his relatives in Morgan Hill, just south of San Jose, prosecutors said.
Velasquez was driving a Ford truck and began following the Silverado on an 11-mile “high speed chase through busy streets into San Jose,” according to the release. Prosecutors said he rammed the Silverado with his truck and fired multiple rounds with a .40 caliber handgun, striking the 63-year-old driver identified as Goularte’s stepdad.
The gun was reportedly registered to Velasquez.
A female passenger in the truck with Goularte called 911 during the pursuit, and Velasquez was later arrested by Morgan Hill Police in San Jose, according to the news release.
Velasquez will remain in jail until his hearing Monday, The Mercury News reported. A judge issued a protective order for Goularte and the other passengers.
Santa Clara County Superior Court records show the driver was shot in the arm. Prosecutors said he is expected to survive.
Velasquez is a two-time UFC heavyweight champion who retired from fighting in 2019 and now coaches at the American Kickboxing Academy gym in San Jose, ESPN reported.
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