Fernando Rodrigues, Mixed Martial Arts fighter, arrested in road rage incident

A mixed martial arts fighter and Iraq war veteran was arrested Monday following a mid-afternoon road rage incident with two pool guys in Coral Springs.

Among the charges against Fernando Rodrigues, 31, are three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon — namely his hands.

One of the men who Rodrigues allegedly assaulted said Tuesday that his pool service assistant was at one point pistol-whipped and placed in a submission hold.

"I was ready to shoot him and do everyone on Earth a favor. I pulled the trigger, but realized I didn't have one in the chamber," said Michael Caccavella, 54, of Lake Worth. "This could've ended really bad for everyone."

Caccavella suffered a black eye and a gash on his cheek after he said he was also pistol-whipped with the back of a handgun. His assistant, Juan Uribe, 25, of Coconut Creek said Tuesday that he suffered fractured bones in his left-eye area.

Rodrigues appeared in bond court early Tuesday where his attorney tried to argue for a lower bond.

Assistant State Attorney Eric Linder identified Rodrigues as a competitive mixed martial arts fighter and a co-founder and trainer with American Top Team, widely considered one of the top training facilities in the world, he said.

Linder argued successfully that Rodrigues' hands and feet should be considered deadly weapons and he should be held in jail without bond.

According to a police report and the two victims, the incident began about 2:30 p.m. Monday near the 5000 block of North State Road 7. Caccavella said he was stopped at a traffic light in his pool truck. When the light turned green, Caccavella said he heard honking coming from the driver of the Hummer SUV behind him.

Caccavella said the driver then began driving in an aggressive manner behind his car. Caccavella said that when he tried to pull into another lane, the driver of the Hummer pointed a gun and yelled obscenities at him.

Caccavella said he then pulled off to the side of the road to call police. As Caccavella was dialing 911, Rodrigues allegedly walked up to the truck's window and struck Caccavella in the face with a gun. Uribe said he got out of the truck and tried to plea with Rodrigues to calm down. Instead, he was struck in the face with the back of the handgun also.

"I don't remember much after he hit me," Uribe said.

Caccavella said that he then pulled out his gun and saw Rodrigues kicking and punching Uribe. The fighter then allegedly placed Uribe in a wrestling hold. Caccavella said police arrived just as he pulled his gun's trigger.

Rodrigues is charged with burglary of a structure and burglary with an assault for allegedly reaching into Caccavella's truck and striking him. He is also facing three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of aggravated assault with a fire arm.

Stefani Guimaraes, a female mixed martial arts fighter identified as Rodrigues' fiance, was in court but did not comment. Rodrigues' attorney, Brittany Nicolli, said it was too early in the case to comment.

Rodrigues' biography on American Top Team's website indicates he is a jujitsu fighter. He attended the Citadel Military College and was in the United States Marine's infantry. Nicolli told Hurley that Rodrigues served in the Iraq war three times.

 

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