Update: Neer Arrested for Hit-and-Run

By Brian Knapp Jan 1, 2009
UFC lightweight Josh Neer spent the first hours of the new year in a jail cell, after he was arrested for a hit-and-run incident and high-speed chase early Thursday in Des Moines, Iowa.

Neer, 25, faces charges of Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated, hit-and-run, eluding police and other traffic violations, according to Sgt. Jeff Phillips with the Des Moines Police Department. This was Neer’s second OWI offense. Eluding police is a felony charge.

Neer (24-7-1) is currently scheduled to face Mac Danzig in a lightweight bout at UFC Fight Night 17 on Feb. 7 at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa, Fla.

Neer allegedly struck two vehicles –- the second of which was a police car -- and then led authorities on a 15-minute chase that reached speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

“He hit a car with a driver in it that was behind a police car at a stop light,” said Sgt. David Coy.

Coy said the officer exited her car after being rear-ended and observed Neer flee the scene.

Mickey Dubberly, Neer’s manager with KO Dynasty, said his client painted a different picture.

According to Dubberly, Neer said he struck a stopped car, got out to check it for damage, and continued on his way when he saw none. Dubberly said Neer panicked when an officer began to pursue his car.

After attempting a PIT maneuver, police reportedly deployed spike strips in an attempt to bring the pursuit to an end. Neer was arrested after blowing a tire.

Dubberly contends the arresting officers used unnecessary force during Neer’s apprehension. Dubberly said the athlete sustained bruises to his stomach, thighs, and head after officers kicked him repeatedly.

“Obviously he did something wrong, but they crossed the line severely in handling the situation,” said Dubberly.

Neer will be physically able to compete on Feb. 7, said Dubberly, but has hired an attorney and is currently exploring legal recourse.

Sgt. Coy said there was no mention of Neer resisting or force being used in the arrest, according to the initial police report.

Neer originally refused to take a breath test, said Coy, but later relented. Neer’s alcohol blood content was .134. At .08, a suspect is considered intoxicated.

Neer was released at 8:26 a.m. CST from Polk County Jail on $2,000 bond for the OWI and $5,000 for the felony eluding.

The Miletich Martial Arts fighter’s last appearance was a split decision loss to Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 15 in September 2008.

Loretta Hunt contributed to this report.

Update notice:
This article was updated with Neer's bail information at 3:55 p.m. EST on Jan. 1. Also, Neer's manager clarified that Neer hit a stopped car, not a parked car, and that information was added at 7:14 p.m.
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