B.J. Penn the Focus of Stalled Investigation In Terroristic Threatening Incident

B.J. Penn UFC 2019
B.J. Penn Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com

Having gone unnoticed to this point, B.J. Penn has been the subject of an investigation into terroristic threats stemming from a 2018 altercation with a neighbor.

B.J. Penn’s recent legal troubles, involving allegations of abuse from his former partner, are not his only legal concerns at the moment. Per a report by MMA Junkie published Friday, Penn, a UFC Hall of Famer and two-division champion, has been the subject of an investigation into terroristic threatening. The incident occurred January 19, 2018, and would appear stalled as a result — though it is still considered an active investigation.

Under Hawaiian law, “a person commits the offense of terroristic threatening if the person threatens, by word or conduct, to cause bodily injury to another person or serious damage or harm to property, including the pets or livestock, of another or to commit a felony… with the intent to terrorize, or in reckless disregard of the risk of terrorizing, another person.”

In regards to Penn, the investigation revolves around threats made against a neighboring taro farmer. The neighbor alleged Penn threatened him with a machete in a dispute over a gate. Later, the victim alleged, Penn returned on an ATV, damaging the gate in question.

MMA Junkie cited Sergeant Jason Grouns of the Hawaii Police Department, who told the outlet that the investigation was ongoing because “all parties involved have not been located (or) contacted yet, and it cannot be routed to the prosecutors until complete.”

Penn’s own attorney, Gary Levitt said in response to the charges that the Hall of Famer had never been made aware of any pending charges. “B.J. said he’s never given a statement to the police; they haven’t told him he’s got a terroristic threatening charge, or there are charges pending,” he stated. Penn did, however, acknowledge there was a dispute, but denied a weapon was involved. Or that any threats were made.

Penn (16–13–2) is expected to return to competition at UFC 237 in Brazil next month, facing Clay Guida. At 40, ‘The Prodigy’ has now been winless in the UFC since 2010. That’s a longer span than the period that saw him winning his way to becoming a two-division champion. Should the bout go forward as planned, Penn will enter the fight with Guida on a six fight losing streak.