Cain Velasquez Was Denied Bail in Attempted Murder Case, but MMA Community Shows Support Using the #FreeCainVelasquez Hashtag
Today, former UFC Champion Cain Velasquez was denied bail after being arrested for allegedly attempting to shoot a 43-year-old man charged with molesting his underage relative at a daycare center.
The incident resulted in Velasquez receiving 10 charges, including attempted first-degree murder, multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, among others.
But since then, many on the internet have reacted in a variety of ways to news that Velasquez illegally took justice into his own hands.
In a video posted on Twitter, an SUV allegedly belonging to Velasquez can be seen chasing and firing at a pick-up truck that Harry Eugene Goularte, the man charged with molesting Velasquez’s underage relative, and his family members were traveling in. The chase, which occurred in San José, has caused an uproar throughout the Bay Area and has even made international news.
The chase came after Goularte, who lives in an at-home daycare run by his mother, was charged with one felony count of “lewd and lascivious battery” with a child under the age of 14. However, despite being charged, he was released from jail on a supervised release on February 25, something that may have caused Velasquez to take justice into his own hands on February 28.
Since Velasquez was arrested last Monday, his case has caused many to express sympathy with him on social media. Various members of the wrestling and mixed martial arts community have taken to Twitter to voice their support for Velasquez given the circumstances of the shooting.
Wrestler Ronda Rousy took to Twitter to express that she would have done the same “or worse” despite opposition from some of her fans who pointed out that Velasquez also shot innocent people during the incident and Goularte allegedly had an ankle bracelet while he was awaiting a court date.
Velasquez’s former UFC rival, Junior Dos Santos, also expressed his sympathy with Velasquez on Twitter by posting a picture of the two in a tweet thread in Portuguese.
In the thread, Dos Santos made clear where he stood, saying, “As combat opponents, we shared the dream of winning and becoming number one. Today, as parents of families, the victory we want to achieve is the well-being and safety of our families. There is still a lot to be revealed and investigated about this situation that Cain Velasquez is involved in. But until then, I believe any honest parent would do the same if they were in their shoes. May justice be done and Cain can be where he belongs, together with his family and as soon as possible. Free Cain.”
Others in the MMA community who have expressed their sympathy with Velasquez include Michael Chiesa, Brendan Schaub, Dana White, Khabib Nurmagomedov, and Anthony Pettis.
But Velasquez’s vigilantism may not receive the same sympathy from the criminal justice system. Regardless of the circumstances around the incident, Velasquez allegedly broke the law by shooting and attempting to kill another person.
Today the Santa Clara County Court denied Velasquez bail because he presents a flight risk and could lash out again.
“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,” Santa Clara Superior Court Judge Shelyna Brown told the courtroom justifying Velasquez’s continued detention.
But Mark Geragos, Velasquez’s lawyer, felt differently.
“Is there anybody out there who finds it beyond the pale that a father was not consulted when they released the perpetrator back into the public with zero-dollar bail, yet they’re holding Cain on no bail? This is why people are disgusted — and rightfully so — with the criminal justice system,” Geragos told a crowd outside the courthouse on Monday morning.
Velasquez is due to appear in court again on April 12.