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'Rampage' Jackson taken to hospital for evaluation

July 18, 2008|Dan Arritt | Times Staff Writer

Popular mixed martial artist Quinton "Rampage" Jackson was hospitalized Wednesday for a mental health evaluation after acquaintances flagged down a patrol car outside his Irvine home, telling police they were concerned for his well-being.

It was the second brush with the law in two days for Jackson, who lost his Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight title July 5 by unanimous decision against underdog Forrest Griffin.

In the latest incident, Irvine police were alerted to Jackson's home while on routine patrol in his Woodbridge neighborhood around 4:30 p.m. Acquaintances in the home told officers they were "concerned about his behavior and some remarks he was making," said Lt. Rick Handfield.

Jackson, 30, was cooperative when contacted by the police, who took him to an undisclosed hospital for evaluation.

Jackson's trainer, Juanito Ibarra, who lives in Lake Forest, did not return a message seeking comment.

Jackson was arrested Tuesday in Newport Beach after a three-mile chase that began with a hit-and-run in neighboring Costa Mesa. Authorities said Jackson was traveling south on the Costa Mesa Freeway about 1:30 p.m. when he sideswiped two cars in his new pickup truck, slightly injuring a pregnant woman in one of the cars.

Costa Mesa police officers later spotted Jackson behind the wheel while talking on his cellphone. They attempted to pull him over, but Jackson began driving even more erratically.

During the pursuit, he drove over the raised median separating traffic on busy Newport Boulevard, then drove on the sidewalk, causing several pedestrians to flee.

Jackson was driving on one tire rim when he finally pulled over on Balboa Peninsula. He was arrested for investigation of felony evading, reckless driving, and hit and run, and was released on $25,000 bail.

After the first incident, authorities said they did not believe Jackson was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A UFC spokesperson referred inquiries to law enforcement.

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dan.arritt@latimes.com

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