Two-time UFC heavyweight champion Cain Velasquez is free on $1 million bail eight months after being charged with attempted murder and 10 gun-related counts for allegedly chasing down a man who allegedly sexually assaulted his 4-year-old son then firing a gun into the accused molester’s vehicle, hitting the wrong passenger.
Santa Clara County prosecutors say Velasquez, 40, was pursuing the vehicle of Harry Eugene Goularte—who was charged with assaulting the mixed martial artist’s son in a daycare bathroom—on an “11-mile, high-speed chase” through San Jose. The chase culminated with Velasquez ramming Goularte’s Chevrolet Silverado with his Ford truck. Velasquez then allegedly fired a .40 caliber handgun multiple times into the Chevy, hitting Goularte’s 63-year-old stepfather, Paul Bender, who was driving the vehicle. Bender was struck once in his arm and torso and sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Arrested just after the incident during a traffic stop, Velasquez was charged with attempted murder; shooting at an occupied 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.
As USA Today’s MMA Junkie reports, Velasquez’s powerhouse attorney, Mark Geragos, had unsuccessfully lobbied to get his client released on bail on three previous occasions. On Tuesday, Judge Arthur Bocanegra relented, stating, “This incident is extremely serious but appears to be isolated behavior by Mr. Velasquez. There is also a viable heat of passion defense.”
Addressing the heavyweight directly, Bocanegra said, “Mr. Velasquez, I would not release you if I was not convinced that upon a release at this time, eight months later, that you would be a danger to Harry Goularte primarily, [Harry’s mother] Patricia Goularte or Paul Bender. If you are as devoted a husband and father, I’m confident and have to believe you will not jeopardize anything that would take you away from your son, your daughter, your family. I hope you don’t prove me wrong.”
Velasquez replied, “I won’t, your honor.”
When Velasquez first requested bail in March, Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Shelyna Brown said he was too dangerous to be set free due to his “extreme recklessness.”
She continued, “It is clear to this court that there is clear and convincing evidence that there is a substantial likelihood that release would result in great bodily injury, not just to the named complaining witnesses in this case but to Santa Clara residents at large. This case involves allegations of extreme recklessness to human life.”
At the time, Velasquez’s attorney Mark Geragos said, “If you believe what the DA says the motivation is—is there anybody out there who would say to a father, that this is not what you should do? A father who was not consulted when they released a perpetrator back into the public with zero-dollar bail, yet they are holding Cain on no bail?”
Aside from the $1 million bond, release conditions include Velasquez submitting to GPS monitoring and compliance, having no weapons, undergoing TBI/CTE outpatient treatment, counseling, search and seizure conditions, and staying at least 300 yards from the Goulartes and Paul Bender.