S. Fla. MMA Fighter Jailed In Apparent Road Rage Attack
South Florida Crime
CORAL SPRINGS (CBSMiami) – A man who served three tours of duty in Iraq and who is a well-known martial arts competitor is charged with beating two men with his hands and his gun in a road rage attack in Coral Springs. And one of his victims is speaking out.
“He was just mad,” said Juan Uribe. “I don’t know what about.”
Speaking from his family’s home in Deerfield Beach, the 25-year-old Uribe told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that the Monday attack left him with bruises and fractures around his left eye. “It’s now a black eye,” he said. “I just went down during the attack covering my face with my hands and he was kicking me.”
Thirty-one-year-old Fernando Rodrigues faces a series of charges including three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
Uribe told D’Oench that the incident happened as he and his boss were making their rounds for his pool service company and were about to go through a light a 5000 North State Road 7. He said Rodrigues got angry when they failed to promptly go through the light.
“He gets behind us and is tailgating and is honking his horn like crazy,” said Uribe. “Then my boss pulls to the side and calls the cops. He didn’t leave. He gets behind us and points a gun at us. He hit my boss with a gun.”
“I got out of my car and I said I don’t want to get shot,” said Uribe. “He points a gun at me and comes around. He hits me in the face with the gun. I couldn’t see it coming.”
“I think my boss might have had a gun too, but he had a permit for it. And it didn’t matter because we were attacked and beaten before my boss tried to find his gun. Then all I remember is the police coming. Right now I can’t go to work. I got bills to pay. I think first of all, he shouldn’t have used a gun. If he was mad, he should have just used his hands.”
At the time of the attack, Uribe said he had no idea who Rodrigues was.
Rodrigues came before Judge John “Jay” Hurley, where Rodrigues’ attorney told the Judge that Rodrigues had served three tours of duty in Iraq.
In court it was revealed that Rodrigues fights under the name of Fernando Rodriguez and is known as “El Gato.”
A Prosecutor said Rodrigues is also co-founder and a trainer at American Top Team, which is widely considered as one of the top training facilities in the world and has one facility in Aventura.
Judge Hurley agreed with the Assistant State Attorney that Rodrigues’ hands and feet should be considered a “deadly weapon” and he ordered that he be held without bond.
“The court believes at this time,” said Hurley, “that your hands and feet are considered for probable cause to be a deadly weapon.”
Uribe told D’Oench that he has taken some mixed martial arts classes and said he was surprised how quickly this attack happened. He said he was struck about ten times and “Just once” with the gun.
“I know when I was learning about mixed martial arts,” said Uribe, “that I was taught about discipline and restraint. You are taught not to use those skills on people on the street.”
Rodrigues is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a firearm, one count of burglary with assault and one count of burglary.
D’Oench also reached out to Uribe’s boss, who lives in Lake Worth, but he did not respond to a phone call.