When a former UFC champion learned that a man had been released by a judge without bail, the mixed martial artist decided to take the law into his own hands. After he hunted down the man and delivered his own form of justice, fans came to his defense.
Cain Velasquez, a former two-time UFC heavyweight champion who is regarded by ESPN as one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time, is no stranger to the spotlight. When he found out a child in his immediate family had been allegedly molested over 100 times by a man who was released without bail, Velasquez found himself garnering attention for a much different kind of fight than he was used to.
The former champ’s relative, who is younger than 10, apparently told police that a man identified as Harry Goularte took him into a bathroom at the home daycare center that Goularte’s mother runs and touched his genitals, over 100 times, per a court document obtained by ESPN. The child also said that Golarte told him not to tell anyone and that he had witnessed other kids go into the bathroom with the man.
Goularte was released from custody without bail against the DA’s orders, according to the statement from the DA’s office, ESPN reported. He was ordered to stay in home detention, remain 100 yards away from any child under 14, and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, which he was allegedly on his way to obtaining when Velasquez gave chase.
“According to prosecutors, Velasquez allegedly followed Harry Goularte’s parents on their way to pick him up to obtain an electronic monitoring device in Morgan Hill, California. Goularte was charged in a separate molestation case just days before after he allegedly molested one of Velasquez’s underage relatives,” Yahoo Sports reported.
After following them for some time, Velasquez shot once at Goularte, prosecutors said. Velasquez then allegedly rammed his vehicle into theirs after a “more aggressive chase” and then shot several more times, hitting Goularte’s stepfather in the arm and torso. Velasquez then allegedly fled the scene. That chase went on for about 11 miles. Goularte got away without any injuries.
Velasquez was found and arrested during a traffic stop and was charged with attempted murder and various weapons violations, according to court documents. After his arraignment, Deputy District Attorney Aaron French weighed in, saying that “although there may be some people who really understand” Velasquez’s motivations, his actions “were very reckless,” Mercury News reported.
“What he did was fire off a firearm during rush hour while there were many people on the roads,” the Deputy District Attorney said, describing how Velasquez dangerously took matters into his own hands. “His conduct put countless innocent bystanders and innocent people within that vehicle in a lot of danger. There is no legitimate claim of self-defense under the law.”
Of course, not everyone agreed with the DA’s sentiments. Instead, Velasquez’s loyal fans on social media were on fire, coming to his defense with #FreeCain and #IStandWithCain gaining traction on Twitter.
Prominent conservative activist, A.J. Delgado, who formerly worked on the Trump campaign, took the lead. “One of my favorite UFC fighters of all time, @cainmma, is facing attempted murder charges. Why? He went after a man, who allegedly *sexually molested his four-year-old nephew.* Who among us can judge this? Who wouldn’t do the same?” she posted along with the hashtags #IStandWithCain and #FreeCain.
“Some more info: a judge had RELEASED the alleged sex-offender back out into society WITHOUT EVEN REQUIRING HIM TO post any bail(!), *against the DA’s orders*. Subsequent to that is when Cain showed up at the daycare & we don’t know what happened that led to the high-speed chase,” Delgado added later.
Edie Alvarez, who is also a professional mixed martial artist, posted, “If you don’t want to arrest a child molester because of his offense then at least arrest him to Stop the father of the child or relative from becoming a Criminal. This was a complete fail of the justice system. This situation is killing me. #FreeCain.”
One of Velasquez’s other admirers echoed similar sentiments, saying, “If you aren’t going to free Cain, at least arrest [the accused molester] and lock him up in the same jail cell as him.”
Others spoke to Cain Velasquez’s character. Professional mixed martial artist Gray Maynard described Velasquez as “One of the best human beings I know.” Maynard continued, “Being around him made you a better person by his actions. There was never a doubt in my mind, the only championship he really ever cared about and cherished was having a good family. We stand with you brother.”
Velasquez is far from the first adult to take matters into their own hands after a heinous crime was committed against a child, especially when our justice system seemingly gives them a slap on the wrist. In fact, even fellow inmates are often inclined to seek vigilante justice behind bars when a child is harmed in such a disturbing way. Even among drug dealers, murders, burglars, and worse, the child sex offender is considered the lowest of the low.