Former two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez was charged Wednesday with attempted murder and multiple assault charges after authorities said he fired at a van carrying a man accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old family member.
Velasquez was arrested Monday after chasing a pickup truck carrying Harry Goularte through the busy streets of three Silicon Valley towns, ramming the vehicle with his own pickup truck during an 18-kilometer high-speed chase, prosecutors said.
Velasquez fired a .40 caliber pistol several times at the vehicle, wounding Goularte’s stepfather, who was driving, in his hand, prosecutors said.
Velasquez, 39, appeared in court on Wednesday but his arraignment was postponed until Monday. He is being held without bail at the Santa Clara County Main Jail.
Renowned attorney Mark Geragos is representing Velasquez. Geragos did not immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment on Wednesday.
About 100 supporters wearing T-shirts that read “Free Cain” showed up at the courthouse to show their support.
Last week, deputies were called to a San Marino daycare center 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 a sexual assault had occurred and Goularte, 43, was arrested soon after, the office said.
Prosecutors said Velasquez drove to the Goularte family home, where the daycare is located, on Monday and followed the truck through Morgan Hill and into San Jose, where he injured Goularte’s stepfather. Goularte’s mother was also in the vehicle.
Later Monday, Morgan Hill police officers located Velasquez driving his van in San Jose and arrested him, Santa Clara District Attorney 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 is also causing more pain and suffering for his family.”
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office said investigators believe there were other victims at the daycare and are working with witnesses and potential victims.
Goularte, 43, was arraigned Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court and a judge released him without bail over objections from the district attorney, Rosen said.
The Associated Press could not immediately determine if anyone could speak for Goularte.
He was released on conditions to remain under house arrest at Morgan Hill, stay 100 yards away from any child under the age of 14 and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet.
Goularte was on his way to retrieve the monitor when Velasquez attacked the family, Rosen said.
Velasquez transitioned into professional wrestling after retiring from his MMA career in 2019. A former two-time UFC heavyweight champion, he won title belts in 2010 and 2012.