MMA fighter resisted arrest in robbery, cops say 

Entering the ring with San Francisco cops was an “ultimate” failure for one amateur MMA fighter from Hayward who was busted during a police robbery sting last week.

After allegedly grappling with two officers at Franklin and California streets May 7, trained brawler Malcolm Graham’s win-loss record for the year plummeted to 1-2.

Graham, 20, a suspect in a recent string of street robberies in The City, is listed on the California Amateur Mixed Martial Arts Organization website as a first-year fighter. He won his debut bout in January by technical knockout after 23 seconds, dominating opponent Adam Espinoza. He then lost a March fight by submission.

But Graham couldn’t pull his record above .500 in a brouhaha with cops, police Sgt. Mark Moreno said. Earlier on the night of May 7, Moreno said, investigators had tailed a vehicle carrying Graham and other suspects wanted in connection with several street robberies.

Graham was allegedly caught in the act. He hopped out of the car, Moreno said, and cased a female victim at a bus stop who was using her cellphone. He allegedly pulled his hoodie over his face and approached the female. She saw him coming and put her phone away, Moreno said, prompting him to return to the car.

But Graham was not done for the night, Moreno said. He allegedly approached a male who also was preoccupied with his phone. But when police intervened, Graham reportedly tried to run. The cops, who were not in uniform and did not know Graham was a trained fighter, caught up to him. Graham “immediately began to throw punches and elbows,” police said.

One cop was struck in the jaw as the officers hollered, “Stop resisting,” police said.

At one point, Graham allegedly unleashed a battle move that’s been used for centuries.

“He spit at one of the officers after they got him to the ground,” Moreno said.

Graham was detained without further injury, police said, and found in possession of stolen property. The driver of the alleged getaway vehicle, 23-year-old Moses Legesse, of Oakland, also was arrested. More stolen property was found in the vehicle, Moreno said.

The pair pleaded not guilty Thursday to felony robbery-related charges. Graham was slapped with an additional charge for resisting arrest, according to prosecutors.

Graham and Legesse are scheduled to return to court May 23 to set a preliminary hearing, prosecutors said.

maldax@sfexaminer.com

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