Are octagon-shaped jail cells in Orange County's future?
It's worth asking as the local crime wave tied to mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters continues with Ian “Uncle Creepy” McCall's recent arrest in Irvine for outstanding warrants.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) flyweight must remain in jail through Sept. 13 because there were warrants out for his arrest in connection with a 2008 bust for possessing drug paraphernalia and prescription drugs without a script and failure to show up at the Harbor Justice Center in Newport Beach to take care of a June citation for driving on a suspended license.
McCall's lawyer, George Vargas, tells MMAWeekly.com that the drug paraphernalia was needles used to take the fluid out of his ears and that he was sentenced to pick up trash for CalTrans. But drug rehab at the Recovery Center in Costa Mesa and fight training prevented McCall from completing his sentence.
The lawyer reportedly says McCall and his agent went to the Harbor Justice Center the day after he got pulled over to pay more than $2,600 in fines. The fighter then ignored a notice to appear in court that came in the mail a few weeks later, thinking the matter had been dealt with. McCall was arrested on both warrants after getting pulled over leaving the gym on Aug. 14.
Thus continues a string of mayhem involving MMA fighters in a region that includes MMA gyms, bars, management companies, clothing lines like TapouT and Affliction and, obviously, the homes of combatants, their significant others and groupies.
Let's look back at other OC kings of the cage and their clashes with Johnny Law:
Two days after a Twitter war with UFC president Dana White, who had declared 31-year-old Mayhem's UFC career over, the battler lived up to his nickname Aug. 11 by turning up nude on the couch of a vandalized church near his Mission Viejo home. Officers found a broken picture frame, a propane tank and other items spray-painted over, books, CDs and boards that had covered a previously broken window strewn about the first floor and a second floor coated with fire extinguisher residue. Then they came upon naked “Mayhem” lying on a second-floor couch. He was arrested for alleged vandalism. See Jason “Mayhem” Miller of MMA Fame Found Buck Naked in Church.
He was known to MMA fans before movie fans, who remember Joseph Hyungmin Son from his role as Dr. Evil's henchman Random Task in the 1997 comedy Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery. But a Huntington Beach woman knew Son long before either set of fans, as he and Santiago Gaitan kidnapped the then 20-year-old on Christmas Eve 1990 before pistol-whipping her, repeatedly raping her and threatening her with a loaded
gun. They then tossed her–bruised, battered and naked except for a jacket wrapped around her head–onto a Compton street as a “Christmas present.” DNA evidence taken after Son violated his parole for felony vandalism in 2008 tied him to the crimes 18 years before, but due to the statute of limitations expiring on most of the felonies, he could only be convicted of torture. He was sentenced to life with the possibility of parole but, while awaiting a transfer at Wasco State Prison in Kern County last October, Son allegedly beat his 50-year-old cellmate Michael Thomas Graham to death. See Joseph Hyungmin Son of Austin Powers Fame Accused of Killing Cellmate.
“The Bad Boy of Huntington Beach” also lived up to his nickname the morning of April 26, 2010, when the since-retired UFC Hall of Famer was arrested for throwing the mother of his twin boys, retired porn star Jenna Jameson, into a bathtub in their Huntington Harbour home in a fit of rage. She later showed cops and reporters her battle scars, and he later claimed he was only defending himself after confronting his live-in recovering drug addict with a found OxyContin pill. Looking at the possible loss of Ortiz's $15 million UFC contract, the couple recanted and the case was dropped. See Jenna Jameson and Tito Ortiz Recant Allegations That Led to Fighter's Arrest.
The UFC legend, who is famously tatted with a giant cross and other Christian imagery, was stopped by Tustin Police in February 2009 after the 6-foot-3, 235-pounder was spotted in a Long Beach Police jumpsuit, complete with patches and a cloth badge. The thing is, Leopoldo was not a member of that force, and only cops are allowed to wear even cloth badges. His ride was then searched, and officers found a small amount of methamphetamine. Leopoldo, who was arrested for domestic violence two years earlier and assault and battery in 2003, was ultimately sentenced to 10 days of community service for the drug and theft rap. But the worst punishment would come from TMZ, which mistakenly reported the Irvine resident had died of a heart attack. See
Former UFC Fighter Kimo Leopoldo: Not Dead, Says Attorney.
At 23 in 2003, the fighter pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of corporal injury in a domestic violence case. Later cut from the UFC roster, he was suspended before a looming International Fight League bout for allegedly beating the crap out of a guy on Dec. 13, 2007. He and his new wife, Sara McLean-Levens, picked up a man who owed the Mrs. $200, and when he could only come up with $80, he was thrown to the ground, punched and kicked by Levens before McLean-Levens said that was enough. The couple pleaded not guilty to aggravated assault on Aug. 27, 2008. In mid-December of that year, they did not show up at a scheduled morning hearing related to the case and were found that afternoon shot to death in their Laguna Niguel condo. McLean-Levens, 25, had been shot in the chest, while her 27-year-old husband had a gunshot wound to the head and a handgun by his side. Investigators deemed it a murder-suicide, and friends later reported Levens had been depressed by the case, his suspension and lack of funds. See Martial Arts Fighter, Wife Found Dead.
It's becoming superfluous tying in the nicknames, no? On July 15, 2008, Rampage crashed his Ford F-150 into several vehicles before leading a high-speed police chase that had him aggressively weaving through traffic, chatting on his cell phone, accelerating away from officers, slamming into another vehicle, running red lights, driving over a median, terrorizing pedestrians and driving on the wrong side of the road before he finally surrendered–face down–on Balboa Boulevard in Newport Beach. The road (roid?) rage earned Jackson three years probation and, despite the possibility of being overturned on appeal for cruel and unusual punishment, a role in The A Team movie. See Mr. Rampage's Wild Ride Results in Probation.
While doing research in advance of the Feb. 2, 2008, UFC 81 bouts at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, MMAJunkie.com discovered Newport Beach-born Robert Michael Emerson had been arrested the previous Sept. 19, 2007, and sent to Musick Jail. Repeated calls to the Orange County Sheriff's Department failed to determine the cause for Emerson's arrest–before reporter Dann Stupp was finally told the file had been lost. (Hmmm …). An Orange County jail cell was already quite familiar to 31-year-old Emerson by then. He pleaded guilty to two counts of battery for a 2006 bar fight, and as a 20-year-old was in and out of jail as a member of Lords of South County, a “gang” of rich white kids who went around beating the shit out of random people for no reason. “I got bent over and took it up the ass on a lot of bullshit judges' decisions,” reflected Emerson. “But fuck 'em, their faces were fucked up worse than mine. That's all I care about!” See The 10 Most Despicable People in MMA.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.