Ralph Gracie

Warrant issued, then put on hold in Ralph Gracie felony assault case

Orange County Superior Court Judge Roger B. Robbins issued a warrant for the arrest of famed Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner Ralph Gracie earlier this week.

Gracie was due in a California court for felony assault charges stemming from an incident at the Anaheim Convention Center in December. Video shows Gracie attacking fellow black belt Flavio Almeida off the mats at 2018’s IBJJF World No-Gi Championships.

Gracie missed the hearing this week which prompted the judge to issue the warrant. The same judge later put the warrant on hold until an October 15 hearing after Gracie’s attorney, Harley Breite, in a court filing on Tuesday said his client was in Rio De Janeiro caring for his 84-year-old father, who lapsed into a coma after falling and hitting his head.

The BJJ specialist is charged with assault with force likely to produce great bodily injury and faces a sentencing enhancement for inflicting great bodily injury.

The IBJJF released the following statement following the incident last year:

“As you may know, while coaching at the World No-Gi Championships, Flavio was viciously attacked,” the statement read. “The attack was completely by surprise, was unprovoked and did not allow Flavio a chance to protect himself. It was clear that the attack was meant to hurt Flavio personally, and also to intimidate Gracie Barra. The police are involved and are investigating. Flavio’s doctors have advised him to take time to rest with this family and recover from his injuries under their care, and to resume work when he is able. We very much appreciate your concern. We will address this situation further when the time is right.”

“It is undisputed that my client, without lawful excuse or justification, struck the victim, knocking him to the ground and causing him injury,” Breite said in the memorandum to Judge Robbins.

“My client fully acknowledges that he should never have struck Mr. Almeida and he accepts full responsibility for doing so,” Breite added.

Almeida lost two teeth in the attack, but Breite said they were dentures.