JONESBORO, Ark. – A man alleges he was the victim of a road rage incident involving a former UFC fighter in a report filed Thursday in Jonesboro.
The incident in question happened around 5:54 PM Thursday night, July 4. Jere Mooney, 27, of Brookland, was driving his motorcycle west on Red Wolf Boulevard when he was approaching the intersection with Nettleton. At the red light, in front of Mooney, was a black 2018 Jeep Wrangler driven by Mike Wade Wessel, 41, of Jonesboro.
From that red light, Mooney told JPD an argument began. Mooney said he was followed by Wessel from there to Regions Bank on Highland and Caraway Road. Mooney said he was struck and knocked off his bike before Wessel fled the scene prior to police arrival.
Wessel told NEA Report he disagreed with Mooney’s version of events.
“Well, he kicked my Jeep twice,” Wessel said to NEA Report. “That’s what started it. Then he acted like he was pulling a gun from his back in front of Region’s.”
Wessel said it seemed like Mooney knew who he was. Wessel enjoyed fame as a professional mixed-martial arts fighter with a record of 15-8 with eight knockout wins. He has fought for the UFC and Bellator and was featured on a season of The Ultimate Fighter on SpikeTV.
“I disagree with his version of the events and I do not believe I’m at fault,” Wessel said. “When I realized he was not going to pull a gun, I left.”
NEA Report spoke to Mooney who said he never once kicked Wessel’s Jeep.
“No sir,” Mooney responded when asked. “I never touched his Jeep.”
Mooney said he was sitting behind him at a red light when the light turned green. He said Wessel was on his cell phone and would not go. Instead of honking, which he said some find aggressive, he revved his engine. That’s the moment he claims Wessel lost control.
“He starts flipping me off and screaming at me to pull over,” Mooney said.
Riding his motorcycle, Mooney said Wessel tried to get side by side with him in the left lane. Then he said Wessel cut him off, slamming on his brakes, and causing the front tire of his bike to hit the Jeep. Mooney said he just wanted to get away, so at the next major intersection, he turned right onto Highland Drive.
“I did everything I could to get away, even after he hit my bike,” Mooney said.
He drove down Highland and at the intersection with Caraway Road, Mooney said the black Jeep returned. He said he saw it driving over a sidewalk and through grass to get to him.
Mooney said Wessel got out of the vehicle after parking in front of him in the road. He claims Wessel pushed his motorcycle over on him, landing on his knee. Then, Mooney said he got up and saw gas leaking from his bike. He said he leaned over to pick it up.
“I bend down and he sucker punches me,” Mooney said. “I’m 130 pounds.”
Mooney alleges Wessel punched him twice. Then, he got back in his Jeep and drove off.
By this point, several witnesses were privy to much of the altercation. Mooney said five or six people saw everything and pulled into the Region’s parking lot. He said an older man was the one who called the police.
JPD Officer Rachel Griffin responded and took the report. An estimated $1,300 in damages were caused to the motorcycle, based on the initial report. Griffin observed a small laceration to the hand and swollen knee on Mooney, who also complained of jaw pain.
Two witnesses were identified in the report, indicating both gave statements to police. However, neither of those statements were visible. The investigative narrative of the report was also masked.
Sgt. Lyle Waterworth with JPD confirmed Friday afternoon the case had been assigned to a detective for further investigation. Due to this, precise details in the report will remain masked until the case is resolved.
Wessel is being investigated for four possible criminal violations according to the report: Felony First-Degree Criminal Mischief (damages exceeding $1000 to property), Third-Degree Battery (a misdemeanor), Harassment (following a person in public – also a misdemeanor) and disorderly conduct, a low-level misdemeanor.