An Orange County judge struck down Quinton “Rampage” Jackson’s felony conviction of evading police in a high-speed chase through Newport Beach in July 2008. Instead, the controversial fighter was placed on three years probation for misdemeanor reckless driving after successfully completing more than 200 hours of community service.
“I will never see that judge in a courtroom again,” Rampage told the OCRegister. “I don’t see myself doing anything crazy again … I want to be a positive role model.”
After losing his title to Forrest Griffin at UFC 86, Rampage encountered many sleepless nights and went days without eating. The former light heavyweight champion was also dealing with depression.
On July 15th 2008, Rampage was weaving his Ford pick-up truck in and out of lanes on a flat tire in Costa Mesa, California, where he currently resides. A motorcycle officer attempted to pull the fighter over, however Rampage ignored him and continued to talk on his cell phone.
Rampage continued to evade Costa Mesa police, hitting three separate vehicles along the way. He ran multiple red lights and drove on the sidewalk, “causing pedestrians to flee in terror.”
After a short pursuit, Rampage finally stopped his truck, which contained a large image of the fighter on its side. He was forced to lay flat on his stomach as officers had weapons drawn on him.
Rampage was grateful Judge Thomas Goethals agrees that his life was out of control when he went Days of Thunder with it, but is more thankful nobody got hurt when he lost his mind.
“I could have really hurt someone or hurt myself,” he said. “I will never let something get me so down I would hurt myself or others.”
What really wowed the judge was the fact that Rampage voluntarily completed well more than the 200 hours of community service he was required to do.
“You have done extraordinarily well on this case,” Goethals said. “Congratulations.”
Carol Lavacot, Jackson’s attorney, said her client conducted seminars with youngsters and Marines to satisfy his requirement for community service. She added that Rampage will continue to make similar efforts even though his court battle is over.