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Former UFC champ attacked man accused of molesting family member, DA says

 In a "sad tragedy," Cain Velasquez allegedly "chose to take the law into his own hands."

The target of an attempted murder by former UFC champ Cain Velasquez was a Northern California man accused of molesting a young relative of the fighter, authorities said Wednesday.

Velasquez, 39, is accused of shooting into a truck carrying Harry Goularte in Morgan Hill, about 20 miles south of downtown San Jose, touching off a 11-mile-long, high-speed chase on Monday afternoon, prosecutors said.

The fighter was driving a Ford truck and he followed a Chevrolet Silverado truck driven by Goularte’s stepfather into San Jose, officials said.

"Velasquez rammed his truck into the Silverado and fired multiple rounds with his registered .40 handgun," according to a statement by the Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office. "A female passenger in the Silverado called 911 for help."

Cain Velasquez speaks with the media following an open workout ahead of UFC Fight Night on Feb. 14, 2019, in Phoenix, Ariz.
Cain Velasquez speaks with the media following an open workout ahead of UFC Fight Night on Feb. 14, 2019, in Phoenix, Ariz.Christian Petersen / Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Velasquez was eventually stopped and arrested by Morgan Hill police near Madrone Avenue in San Jose. 

Goularte was not injured in the attack while a 63-year-old relative of his was wounded but is expected to survive, prosecutors said.

Velasquez has been charged with attempted, premeditated murder, among other alleged offenses.

“The sad tragedy is that Mr. Velasquez chose to take the law into his own hands, endangering the public and everyone in the truck,” Santa Clara County DA Jeff Rosen said in a statement. “This act of violence also causes more pain and suffering to his family.”

Velasquez's attorney Mark Geragos declined comment on the case when reached by NBC News on Thursday, but said he's looking forward to defending his client.

"He's an impressive loving father and husband," Geragos said.

Goularte, 43, is facing felony molestation charges and was out on bail, the DA said. A judge had ordered Goularte to home detention and to keep 100 yards away from any child under 14.

Goularte was on his way to get fitted for an electronic monitoring bracelet when he was attacked by Velasquez, according to prosecutors.

Velazquez, who last fought in 2019, twice held UFC's heavyweight title.

He first won the belt on Oct. 23, 2010 with a TKO over then-champ Brock Lesnar.

Junior Dos Santos defeated Velasquez in a first-round knockout on Nov. 12, 2011, before the former champ took back his belt in a rematch on Dec. 29, 2012.

In recent years, Velasquez has been performing for the Mexican pro wrestling organization Lucha Libre AAA.

He's being held at the Santa Clara County Main Jail Complex in San Jose with a bail hearing set for Monday.