by Tom Hamlin – MMAWeekly.com
The Orange County District Attorney’s office has formally charged former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson for a July 15 hit-and-run melee that landed the popular fighter in jail.
In a press release issued on Monday, Jackson is accused of sideswiping two cars and subsequently fleeing Costa Mesa police officers as they attempted to stop him. In the short chase, Jackson allegedly damaged another car and nearly hit several pedestrians at a bus stop. His left front tire shredded, he eventually surrendered to police officers in nearby Newport Beach.
The 30-year-old Jackson has been charged with one felony count of evading while driving recklessly, one felony count of evading a peace officer and driving against traffic, three misdemeanor counts of hit and run with property damage, and one misdemeanor count of reckless driving.
His arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 28. Deputy District Attorney Keith Bogardus will request a $25,000 bail for the fighter.
Notably absent were charges related to Holli Griggs, a passenger in one of the cars that Jackson sideswiped. Griggs was 16 weeks pregnant with a boy when she miscarried two weeks after the incident. Orange County DA spokeswoman Farrah Emami told MMAWeekly.com that a subsequent investigation of the miscarriage did not implicate Jackson.
“We reviewed all the medical records and spoke with the victim’s physician, and the evidence showed that the loss of the fetus was not related to or a result of the crash caused by the defendant,” Emami said.
Jackson re-emerged in the public eye at UFC 87 following a long period of silence. At a pre-fight press conference for “Seek and Destroy,” he appeared to be in good spirits, a far cry from the man who was placed under mental observation by police officers shortly after the chase. The charismatic light heavyweight said he was back on track and thanked UFC president Dana White for getting him there.
“I’m already training, so my next opponent better watch out,” he said. “But that was the worst mistake I ever made, I got Dana over my back all the time. ‘Did you eat? Did you sleep? Drink your water?’ It’s like I’m two years old, but it’s all good,” he continued.
If convicted, Jackson could face up to three years in prison. He and UFC representatives were unavailable for comment.