SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Santa Clara County authorities charged former MMA Heavyweight Champion Cain Velasquez with attempted murder and several other crimes Wednesday for his involvement in a car chase and shooting days before.
The charges came against the 39-year-old San Jose resident after police said he rammed into and shot at a vehicle containing a man who allegedly molested a juvenile relative of Velasquez’s on Monday afternoon.
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Velasquez appeared in a San Jose courtroom for his arrangement on Wednesday.
“The sad tragedy is that Mr. Velasquez chose to take the law into his own hands, endangering the public and everyone in the truck,” Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen said. “This act of violence also causes more pain and suffering to his family.”
A little after 3 pm Monday, Morgan Hill Police received word of a shooting near the intersection of Cochran Road and Butterfield Boulevard. Responding officers arrived to find victim Paul Bender suffering from gunshot wounds. He was taken to a nearby hospital to be treated for non-life-threatening injuries.
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According to police, Velasquez followed Bender’s vehicle because it contained 43-year-old Harry Goularte, who had been released by authorities after being charged with felony child molestation. At the time of the shooting, Bender – Goularte’s father-in-law – was driving Goularte to obtain an electronic monitoring bracelet that was a condition of his release from jail.
Velasquez chased the victim’s vehicle, a Chevy Silverado, for 11 miles before ramming into it. After the collision, Velasquez opened fire on the vehicle with a handgun, hitting Bender. Goularte’s wife Patricia, who was in the vehicle, called 911.
The 39-year-old was booked into the Santa Clara County main jail and held without bail. His arrangement was scheduled for Wednesday at 1:30 pm
Velasquez was forced by injuries to retire from MMA in 2019. During his career, he earned UFC heavyweight championship titles in 2010 and 2012.
According to charging documents against Goularte, authorities charged the San Martin resident over his actions at a child care facility run by his wife where he lived but didn’t work. The facility cares for 20 children and Goularte is charged with inappropriately touching a 4-year-old ward of the facility on multiple occasions. The victim is believed to be a relative of Velasquez.
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Patricia Goularte confirmed to police that Velasquez had employed her daycare facility for the past two years.