MMA Fighter ‘War Machine’ Arrested in Simi Valley, Was Sought in Las Vegas Beating of Ex-Girlfriend

A mixed martial-arts fighter from California who was sought in connection with the beating of his adult film star ex-girlfriend was arrested Friday in Simi Valley.

 Las Vegas Metro police are still looking for a mixed martial-arts fighter accused of beating his ex-girlfriend, adult entertainer Christy Mack. Detectives aren't the only ones looking for War Machine, who was previously known as Jonathan Koppenhaver. Reality television star Duane Chapman, known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, said he is now hunting for War Machine. (Credit: CNN)

Las Vegas police were looking for a mixed martial-arts fighter accused of beating his ex-girlfriend, adult entertainer Christy Mack. Reality television star Duane Chapman, known as Dog the Bounty Hunter, also said he was hunting for War Machine. The fighter, aka Jonathan Koppenhaver, was arrested in Simi Valley Aug. 15, 2014. (Credit: Las Vegas Metro Police)

Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenhaver, 32, was taken into custody about 1:45 p.m. in Simi Valley by local police in conjunction with the U.S. Marshals Service.

An arrest warrant had been issued for Koppenhaver stemming from an incident in Las Vegas last week, according to police.

A former Simi Valley resident, Koppenhaver was found at the Extended Stay America Hotel located at 2498 Stearns St., just off the 118 Freeway (map), according to the Simi Valley Police Department.

He was arrested without incident, according to a news release from the U.S. Marshals Service, which stated he was wanted for the alleged assault of his ex-girlfriend.

A hotel guest who witnessed the arrest told KTLA that officers used a Taser on Koppenhaver.

“And they were like banging on the door, trying to get it open, and they’re like, ‘Open the door, open the door,” Nicolle Blankenship said. “Finally when they got it open they yelled, ‘Gun,’ and then all of a sudden you see them shoot him with a Taser. And he got shot with a Taser and he went down to the floor, and then they handcuffed him.”

Once officers were inside the room, they discovered “a small quantity of cash and some pizza,” a police news release stated.

Hotel guest Mary Casamento said she called police to the hotel after seeing a “big dude” yelling at and pushing a petite woman who was trying to calm him down. He grabbed her by the hair, Casamento said.

Koppenhaver was transported to the Ventura County Jail and was awaiting removal to Las Vegas, the Marshals Service said.

Jonathan "War Machine" Koppenahver was arrested at this hotel in Simi Valley on Aug. 15, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Jonathan “War Machine” Koppenahver was arrested at this hotel in Simi Valley on Aug. 15, 2014. (Credit: KTLA)

Christy Mack, Koppenhaver’s ex-girlfriend, on Monday posted graphic photos on Twitter showing injuries she said were dealt to her by Koppenhaver. A friend who was with her was also assaulted, she said.

Koppenhaver, in turn, took to Twitter to defend himself, saying he had planned to propose to Mack.

“I only wish that man hadn’t been there and that Christy & I would be happily engaged. I don’t know (why) I’m so cursed,” he tweeted Sunday. “One day truth will come out.”

Las Vegas police on Tuesday announced a warrant for his arrest in connection with the Aug. 8 assault. He was charged with several counts of battery, including by strangulation, as well as assault with a deadly weapon, coercion by force and “open and gross lewdness,” according to a news release from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

A male and female victim had severe injuries that were not life-threatening, police said. The female victim was hospitalized.

A Las Vegas police spokesman told KTLA on Tuesday that investigators believed Koppenhaver had gone to Southern California.

In a statement she posted to Twitter, Mack said her ex-boyfriend arrived at her home around 2 a.m. and assaulted her and a friend.

Koppenhaver made her undress and shower in front of him and then assaulted her, Mack said. When he went into her kitchen, she feared he was getting a knife and ran out of the home and through her neighborhood, naked, to get help, she wrote.

She posted photos of herself bruised in a hospital, saying she suffered 18 broken bones, a ruptured liver and other injuries. She could not walk, chew or see out of her left eye, she said.

Their relationship had ended in May, Mack said.

A fundraising page set up for Mack’s medical expenses had raised more than $65,000 by Friday.


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