The arraignment of former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (Pictures), scheduled for Friday, has been postponed pending further investigation into his July 15 arrest in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Jackson was arrested on suspicion of felony evading, reckless driving and hit-and-run charges following a chase by authorities that saw elite fighter’s Ford pick-up truck bounce off other vehicles, jump street medians and swerve onto sidewalks, which “caused pedestrians to flee in terror,” according to a Costa Mesa police department report.
“The district attorney’s office is responsible for filing charges and that case is still under investigation based on some new evidence that has been discovered,” said Farrah Emami, spokesperson for the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Emami said Jackson, 30, would be notified of a new court appearance date once charges have been filed. Emami could not provide a timeline as to when the district attorney’s office, in conjunction with the Costa Mesa police department, would complete its initial investigation.
The outspoken Jackson, who shot to celebrity status with his first-round knockout of light heavyweight king Chuck Liddell (Pictures) at UFC 71 in May 2007, was also involved in two separate collisions on the 55 Freeway prior to his pursuit through Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. Holly Griggs, 38, of Huntington Beach, was reportedly sideswiped by Jackson in her 2007 Escalade vehicle, and has since miscarried a 16-week pregnancy.
“There were different incidents that occurred in different jurisdictions. There was Highway Patrol, there was Costa Mesa, there was Newport Beach. We’re looking at all of this as one potential case,” said Emami. “The recommendations of the police are taken into consideration, but it could be more charges or less charges, depending on what the evidence reports.”
Jackson was released on $25,000 bail on July 15, but was detained by police the next day following reports of erratic behavior by his friends and acquaintances, who had congregated at the fighter’s home in Irvine. Jackson was placed under a 72-hour mental observation at a local hospital and was later released.
The Memphis native made his first public appearance at a pre-fight press conference for UFC 87 at the Mall of America in Minneapolis last Thursday. Flanked by UFC President Dana White, a lighthearted Jackson was cheered on by an enthusiastic audience.
“Everybody goes though a little something,” Jackson told the crowd. “UFC’s got my back. I’m doing good.”
White said Jackson’s behavior was caused by exhaustion, dehydration, and “delirium,” following the fighter’s five-round decision title loss to Forrest Griffin (Pictures) at UFC 86 a week before the incident.
“He hung out in Vegas for a week,” said White. “He was hanging out by the pool and he was fasting, and he wasn’t drinking, he wasn’t eating. And he was drinking energy drinks.”