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Rampage gets probation, still wants to be a role model

rampage-jackson_court

It’s hardly a surprise that Quinton “Rampage” Jackson only got a slap on the wrist for his July 2008 hit-and-run spree in Newport Beach. He’s rich and famous, after all.

An Orange County judge has struck down his felony conviction of evading police for his high-speed stupidity (and truth be told, he wasn’t entirely successful in evading the cops as he did end up face down on the street with a SWAT team aiming assault rifles at him). Instead, the former UFC light heavyweight champ has been handed three years probation for misdemeanor reckless driving and he’s already completed more than 200 hours of community service, which apparently included conducting seminars with young people and members of the U.S. Marine Corps. Although, having watched Rampage on The Ultimate Fighter, I’m not really sure what sort of meaningful message he could possibly convey, except maybe to “Get up, don’t stay there, do something.”

According the Orange County Register, the judge even praised Rampage’s efforts, saying, “You have done extraordinarily well on this case. Congratulations.”

I’ll say he did well. He did very well considering his offenses. If you don’t remember the details of what Rampage did and wonder what all the fuss is about, let me synopsize: Rampage lost his belt to Forrest Griffin, fell into a depression fuelled by Red Bull and days of sleeplessness, climbed behind the wheel of his custom Ford 350 pickup truck — the one with his picture and name painted on the side — and plowed into three vehicles, ran multiple red lights, drove down the wrong side of the road and hopped up onto the sidewalk forcing pedestrians to dive for cover. Oh yeah, and he was on his cell phone the whole time.

The video below includes an interview with Rampage following his court appearance. Among the highlights, he says he didn’t know the police were chasing him and he was unaware the truck he was driving had his face painted on it. He makes no mention of whether he noticed the cars he crashed into or the pedestrians diving to get out of the way of his grill.

He does say that he wants to be a good role model for young people. I’ve got news for you, Rampage. Owning up to your colossal life-and-death blunders – and getting a kiss on both cheeks from the American legal system for it – does not make you a role model. Not getting behind the wheel of your truck to begin with does.

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