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UFC Champ Cain Velasquez Denied Bail After Shooting At Accused Child Molester

By Sandy Malone and Tom Gantert

San Jose, CA – A judge denied bail to former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez, calling him “reckless” and saying “the risk is too great” to release him.

Velasquez was arraigned before Santa Clara County Judge Shelyna Brown on March 7 in the Santa Clara County Hall of Justice in San Jose, MMA Junkie reported.

He is facing attempted murder charges after he chased down a man accused of molesting a close family member and shot at him, hitting another person in his vehicle.

“This case involves allegations of extreme recklessness to human life,” Brown said. “Ramming a vehicle in the middle of the day where our citizens are out driving, going about their business, and shooting out of a car at other individuals, which is reckless by any standard.”

“Anyone could’ve been injured. Anyone could’ve been killed,” the judge continued. “When this court looks at Article 1, Section 12, it is this level of risk that the court must take into consideration. With that said, this court is making a ruling that the risk is too great. There will be no bail set at this time.”

Velasquez was also charged with shooting at a 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, MMA Junkie reported.

If found guilty, the two-time heavyweight champion is facing a minimum of 20 years-to-life in prison.

Morgan Hill police responded to a report of a shooting just after 3 p.m. on Feb. 28 and found Paul Bender suffering from gunshot wounds, CBS News reported.

Police said that 43-year-old Harry Goularte had just been released by the authorities after having been charged with child molestation and Bender, his stepfather, was taking him to get the GPS monitoring bracelet that was a condition of his release.

Goularte was charged with one felony count of a lewd and lascivious act with a child under the age of 14, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

The child was reportedly molested while at a daycare run by Goularte’s wife.

Authorities said that the 39-year-old Velasquez was waiting in his black SUV for Goularte to be released, and then he followed the man accused of molesting his “close family member” as he left the jail in his stepfather’s pickup truck, CBS News reported.

Police said Velasquez chased the Chevy Silverado for 11 miles and then intentionally rammed into it near Monterey Highway and Bailey Avenue.

Parts of the chase were captured on cell phone video.

After the crash, the UFC champion opened fire on the pickup truck with a handgun, CBS News reported.

Bender was shot.

Goularte’s mother, who was also in Bender’s vehicle, called 911, CBS News reported.

Bender was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Velasquez was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County jail, charged with attempted murder, and held without bond.

At his arraignment, the judge heard arguments from both sides in front of a courtroom packed with supporters of Velasquez, MMA Junkie reported.

Celebrity defense attorney Mark Geragos, who has also represented Michael Jackson, Chris Brown, Winona Ryder, and Colin Kaepernick, advocated for Velasquez’s release on bail at his arraignment and pointed to the fact that Goularte had been released without bail.

But Brown said the target of Velaquez’s ire had nothing to do with the UFC champion’s bail, MMA Junkie reported.

“Mr. Geragos, this court is not juxtaposing one case against another,” the judge said. “That is not my job. My job is to deal with the case that is before the court. The Velasquez case is before this court. … This court is not at liberty to look at other cases in the media or the case of Goularte.”

Brown ordered Velasquez to remain held in the Santa Clara County jail pending trial, MMA Junkie reported.

He is scheduled to appear in court again on April 12.

Written by
Sandy Malone

Managing Editor - Twitter/@SandyMalone_ - Prior to joining The Police Tribune, Sandy wrote the Politics.Net column for the Wall Street Journal and was managing editor of Campaigns & Elections magazine. More recently, she was an internationally-syndicated columnist for Conde Nast (BRIDES), The Huffington Post, and Monsters and Critics. Sandy is married to a retired police captain and former SWAT commander.

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Written by Sandy Malone


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