Renzo Gracie and his band of (alleged) MMA hooligans have caught a break of sorts.
Charged with ‘gang assault’ early Monday morning, Gracie (47), along with the six men that he was arrested with during the 1:00 a.m. bar brawl at the 1-Oak nightclub in Manhattan – one of whom was Gracie’s cousin Igor (34) – have had their charges reduced to third-degree assault.
The prosecutor’s abatement means that the troop of seven will be facing a misdemeanor charge, and not the original (odious) charge of gang assault, which carried a maximum penalty of 15 years in jail.
However, the curtailment in charge doesn’t mean that Gracie and Co. have ridden out the storm, just yet.
According to the Ney York Daily News, the Manhattan prosecutor is still investigating the event and weighing the option of charging the whole group with a felony. Of interest to the prosecutor’s investigation, are the severity of the injuries sustained by the injured 1-Oak employee that was transported to hospital with a broken elbow, and an exact accounting of what each of the accused did during the brawl.
Witnesses say that the Brazilian jiu jitsu master and his entourage “began executing roundhouse kicks and other martial arts maneuvers against individual who were attempting to intervene and pull (defendant) Renzo Gracie” off of the damaged 1-Oak doorman.
By way of an official statement regarding the charges, Gracie’s attorney, Steven Kartagener, stated that he believes that “when all of the facts become known… this is not a case in which my clients will be prosecuted for assault of any sort.”
Cases for all seven were adjourned, with no date having been set for a return to court.