Thursday, July 17, 2008

WHAT THE HELLS WRONG WITH QUINTON JACKSON? NERVOUS BREAKDOWN MAYBE ...


Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, shown in a booking photo, was arrested after allegedly crashing into several cars, roaring over a center divider and driving on a sidewalk, causing pedestrians to flee his truck's path.

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, the champion mixed-martial-arts fighter who police say tore a chaotic path through local streets this week, was hospitalized for a mental evaluation after his behavior worried friends at his Irvine home, police said today.

Acquaintances of the former light-heavyweight titleholder flagged down officers driving past his home in the 100 block of Whistling Isle about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon.

His friends were concerned by alarming comments and behavior and wanted officers to decide if Jackson was a danger to himself or others, said Irvine police Lt. Rick Handfield.

Jackson, 30, was cooperative when speaking to police, and officers decided to take him to an unidentified local hospital for a mental evaluation.

Handfield could not comment on whether Jackson was placed on an involuntary psychiatric hold or if he had been released.

Jackson, known for sporting a heavy chain around his neck before fights, lost his light-heavyweight belt in a major bout earlier this month with Forest Griffin.

He was rattled by the defeat, telling friends Monday at the HB Ultimate Training Center in Huntington Beach that he had barely been sleeping, said "Razor" Rob McCullough, a former World Extreme Cagefighting champ.

Jackson, who is divorced and has four children, spoke of being under heavy pressure and seemed weary of his sport's limelight, McCullough said.

"It sounds like he had a nervous breakdown," McCullough said Thursday. "It all just got to be too much for him."

Jackson was first arrested Tuesday after authorities say he plowed his raised Ford truck into several vehicles on the 55 freeway and Newport Boulevard, crashed across a center divider and roared onto a sidewalk, causing pedestrians to flee.

He was booked on suspicion of hit-and-run driving, felony evading and reckless driving. Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White ended up posting his $25,000 bail.

Also today, authorities backtracked from initial reports that Jackson's tear through the streets of Costa Mesa had not caused any injuries.

Holli Griggs, a 38-year-old Huntington Beach woman who is 16 weeks pregnant, was hospitalized after her Cadillac Escalade was sideswiped on the 55 freeway, said California Highway Patrol officer Denise Quesada.

"I and my unborn baby have sustained injuries, to what extent is still unknown," Griggs said in an e-mail to the Register.

"He had no regard for my life or anyone else's for that matter," Griggs wrote.

Jenny Kimber, a La Habra resident, recalled in an e-mail to the Register that she "was about 6 feet from being run over by 'Rampage' Jackson" while waiting in her car at the intersection of 17th Street and Newport Boulevard.

"When I saw his truck barreling straight towards me, I was more terrified than you can imagine," Kimber wrote. "Thankfully, he swerved to avoid hitting my car, and went back onto the wrong side of Newport (Boulevard). The police were hot on his tail."

"I returned to my work in shock," Kimber added, "went home and counted my blessings for avoiding certain injury or death."
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