Burglar picks wrong home to break into as MMA fighter puts him in chokehold

Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Sergio Hernandez Jr held alleged thief until police arrived

Tom Barnes
Sunday 22 July 2018 20:10
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Suspected burglar picks the wrong house to break into, MMA fighter takes him down

A suspected burglar picked the wrong house to break into when the homeowner’s son, a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter, apprehended him and put him in a chokehold.

Sergio Hernandez Jr, from San Diego, California, said he gave chase to the alleged thief and wrestled him to the ground after he found him on his father’s property.

But Mr Hernandez, a professional fighter with a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, had no intention of exacting revenge on the man, instead restraining him with a triangle choke until police arrived.

“I was angry and I was upset but I wanted to make sure that I didn't harm him to get some sort of revenge or satisfaction out of this,” he told ABC News.

“When I see people post videos of people getting punched or street fights, it always bothers me that people celebrate violence so much.”

Mr Hernandez said he had arrived at his father’s home on Monday to find the man in the back garden.

He alleges the suspect said he was hiding from a dog, but soon ran away when the family discovered signs someone had tried to force entry to their home.

After chasing the man and dragging him to the floor with a judo throw, Mr Hernandez placed the assailant in a chokehold using his legs.

In a video filmed by a neighbour, the MMA fighter is heard telling the suspect her will “put him to sleep” if he tries to move.

Police arrived at the scene and later arrested the man.

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“I've been doing jiu-jitsu for about 13 years,” Mr Hernandez added: “I could have broken his arm easily but I don't like to see people get hurt.

“I was going to put him to sleep but I wanted to keep talking to him to figure out why he chose our house. I felt bad for him but to violate someone's property like that is very dangerous.

“I think it would have been wrong of us to let him go because maybe he could've put some else's life in danger in the future.”

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