Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was charged Wednesday with attempted murder and multiple gun assault charges after authorities said he fired at a pickup truck carrying a man accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old family member.
Velasquez was arrested Monday after he chased a pickup carrying Harry Goularte through busy streets in three Silicon Valley cities, ramming the vehicle with his own pickup truck during an 11-mile high-speed chase, prosecutors said.
Velasquez fired a .40-caliber pistol at the vehicle several times, wounding Goularte’s stepfather, who was driving, in his hand, prosecutors said.
Velasquez, 39, appeared in court Wednesday, but his arraignment was postponed until Monday. He is being held without bail at Santa Clara County Main Jail.
Celebrity attorney Mark Geragos is representing Velasquez. Geragos did not immediately return a phone message from the Associated Press seeking comment Wednesday.
About 100 supporters wearing T-shirts that read “Free Cain” showed up at the courthouse.
Last week, deputies were called to a San Marin day care owned by Goularte’s mother regarding an alleged sexual assault involving a child, the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement Wednesday.
After interviewing the child and others, investigators determined that a sexual assault had taken place, and Goularte, 43, was arrested soon after, the office said.
Prosecutors said Velasquez on Monday went to the Goularte family home, where the day care is located, and followed the truck through Morgan Hill and into San Jose, where he wounded Goularte’s stepfather. Goularte’s mother was also in the vehicle.
Later Monday, Morgan Hill police officers found Velasquez driving his pickup truck in San Jose and arrested him, Santa Clara County Dist. Atty. Jeff Rosen said in a statement.
“The sad tragedy is that Mr. Velasquez chose to take the law into his own hands, endangering the public and everyone in the truck,” Rosen said. “This act of violence also causes more pain and suffering to his family.”
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said investigators believe there are other victims from the day care and are working with potential witnesses and victims.
Goularte, 43, was arraigned on felony molestation charges in Santa Clara County Superior Court on Friday, and a judge released him from custody without bail over the district attorney’s objections, Rosen said.
The AP could not immediately determine whether anyone could speak on Goularte’s behalf.
He was released under the conditions that he stay in home detention in Morgan Hill, stay 100 yards away from any child under 14, and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
Goularte was on his way to get the monitor when Velasquez attacked the family, Rosen said.
Velasquez transitioned to pro wrestling after retiring from his mixed martial arts career in 2019. A two-time UFC heavyweight champion, he earned title belts in 2010 and 2012.