UFC light heavyweight sensation Quinton "Rampage" Jackson (Pictures) was arrested Tuesday by Costa Mesa police officers following a high-speed pursuit through the Californian suburbs from Costa Mesa to Newport Beach. Jackson was arrested on Felony Evading, Reckless Driving and Hit-and-Run charges and was being processed Tuesday afternoon at the Costa Mesa Jail with bail set at $25,000.
Jackson was observed weaving his gray and green Ford pick-up truck in and out of traffic on a flat front tire while talking on his cell phone, according to a release from the Costa Mesa police department. An officer on motorcycle attempted to pull Jackson over but the fighter continued driving south on 17th St and over a center divider at Cabrillo Ave. in what became a chase with local authorities around 1:30 p.m.
Authorities said Jackson drove through red lights and onto the sidewalk on multiple occasions, "causing pedestrians to flee in terror." Jackson collided with a vehicle at the 17th St. intersection and continued driving on an exposed tire rim. The fighter was later linked and charged for two other collisions on the southbound 55 freeway prior to the pursuit.
Sherdog.com has learned that Jackson was en route to training partner's residence and gave himself up to authorities outside his final destination at 18th St. and Newport Blvd.
"It was reported to me by the arresting officers that Jackson was cooperative and respectful [at the time of arrest], but upset," said Costa Mesa watch commander Lt. Paul Dondero.
A maestro with the sound byte, former Pride Fighting Championship star Jackson (27-8) has been one of the UFC's richer acquisitions in recent years. The extroverted 30-year-old smashed promotion favorite Chuck Liddell (Pictures) at UFC 71 to garner the light heavyweight title in May 2007. Jackson defended the crown once before a dropping a hotly contested unanimous decision to Forrest Griffin (Pictures) at UFC 86 "Jackson vs. Griffin" in Las Vegas on July 5. Jackson and Griffin had previously traded verbal barbs as rival coaches on Spike TV's "The Ultimate Fighter 7" before meeting in the Octagon.
Photos released by TMZ.com show the former champion face down on the street outside the house during his arrest. It appears Jackson was directed to exit his truck at gunpoint.
Multiple attempts to reach Jackson's manager, Juanito Ibarra, were unsuccessful.