Ryan Gracie, the "Bad Boy of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu," Dies in Jail Cell

Dorothy WillisSenior Writer IDecember 15, 2007

IconAt 7:00 AM on December 15th, 2007, Ryan Gracie was found slumped over and unresponsive in a jail cell in Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

Gracie had been arrested at approximately 1:30 AM for stealing and crashing a car, and then attempting to steal a motorcycle to flee from police. Ryan was hit on the head by the owner of the cycle, whom he had threatened to kill, and then detained by several cyclists until the police arrived. 

Gracie tested positive for marijuana, cocaine, and an unknown antianxiety drug. 

Psychiatrist Dr. Sabino Ferreira de Faria was called by Gracie's wife after his arrest and attended to him at the jail. 

The doctor has allegedly stated that he administered the following drugs to Gracie to calm him down:  Haldol (a powerful antipsychotic), Fenergan (which has a side effect of sleepiness), Topamax (for Migraines), Dienpax (tranquilizers), and OmniPlex (relaxant). 

The doctor remained with Gracie most of the night, and was notified of Gracie's death as he was returning home. The cause of death has not yet been released by the medical examiner.

Ryan Gracie, son of Robson and grandson of Carlos Gracie, was born on August 14, 1974 in Rio De Janero.  He was a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and won 5 fights in Pride FC, the McDonald's Company Judo Cup, the 1997 Pan American Jiu-Jitsu Championship, and the 1997 Brazilian Championship (Non-Gi).  He was an instructor at an academy at 260 Gomes Carvalho Road in the Vila Olimpia neighborhood of the South Zone.

Ryan had a history of many run-ins with the police, and at one time had shot himself in the femur, almost costing him the use of his leg.  In Brazil he had a reputation of being a tough street fighter, and was said to have an ongoing feud with fellow BJJ practitioner Wallid Ismail.  An acquaintance once said of Gracie, "He was a crazy guy. In America, the police would have just shot him."

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