Tapout owner "MASK" killed - Chicagoland Sportbikes
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
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Tapout owner "MASK" killed

I know there are a few MMA fans on the board.

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Tapout founder "Mask" killed in early morning auto accident (Updated)
by Dann Stupp on Mar 11, 2009 at 4:45 pm ET
"Mask," one of the popular real-life characters from MMA apparel giant Tapout, died early this morning in a automobile accident in California.

Mask, who's real name is Charles Lewis Jr., died when his red Ferrari Modena crashed into a utility pole in Newport Beach at approximately 1 a.m. local time.

The driver of a second car, an older-model white Porsche that is believed to have been traveling at a high rate of speed next to Lewis' car, has been arrested on gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, a Newport Beach Police Department representative told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com).

Lt. Craig Fox of the Newport Beach Police Department could not confirm the identity of the deceased male until the Orange County Sheriff's Department notifies next of kin. However, sources close to Lewis told MMAjunkie.com he was the one who died in the accident.

Lt. Fox said it's not known if either the male occupant (Lewis) or a female companion was driving the Ferrari. After the Ferrari hit a curb and smashed into the pole, the female was ejected from the car and was transferred to the Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where she remains in stable condition, according to Lt. Fox.

Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene.

According to Fox, a Newport Beach Police officer was on patrol in the area and witnessed both the Ferrari and the Porsche "spinning out of control on Jamboree Road between Bison Avenue and East Bluff Drive."

"It was damaged very badly," Fox said of the Ferrari, which nearly split into two pieces. "The male was pronounced dead at the scene."

The Porsche initially fled the scene, but police soon located the damaged car a few blocks from where the Ferrari crashed.

"The damage appeared related to the accident (on Jamboree Road)," Fox said.

Leaving the Porsche were 51-year-old Jeffrey David Kirby of Costa Mesa and 32-year-old Lynn Marie Nabozny of Newport Beach, who were both detained.

"Through their investigation, [police officers] were able to determine the male was the driver of the Porsche," Lt. Fox said. "He was arrested for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated. He was booked ... on a $1 million bail."

Nabozny was arrested for public intoxication and later released.

"There were skid marks found at the scene," said Lt. Fox, who confirmed investigators were still sifting through the crash scene as of noon PST today. "It appears there were maybe high rates of speed involved, but they don't know what led up to the collision. The officer (who witnessed the crash) didn't see that. He barely saw the after effects of what appears to be the possible collision."

Lewis will be remembered as one of MMA's first and true entrepreneurs.

Lewis founded Tapout Clothing Inc. in 1997 with a trunk full of T-shirts and a few thousand dollars of start-up money. Over the past decade, he and his partners have made the company the biggest apparel success story in MMA.

Tapout, which grossed just $30,000 in sales in 1999, pushed that number to more than $100 million in 2008 alone. The company now has licensed retailers (including the likes of Dillard's and Champs) around the world.

A longtime comic-book fan, Lewis and his colleagues, "Punkass" and "Skyscrape," went the make-up-and-costume route soon after launching the company from a San Bernardino apartment. The costumes, grassroots-marketing efforts and an often-praised work ethic made the crew celebrities in their own right.



When not hosting their own TV show on Versus to spotlight up-and-coming fighters, the Tapout members could often be found cageside at major MMA events, including the UFC, which the company sponsors.

* * * *

UPDATE (March 11, 6:30 p.m. EST): Tapout on Wednesday released the following statement: "It is with heavy hearts and great sadness that we must regretfully confirm the passing of our beloved friend, brother and co-founder Charles 'Mask' Lewis following a car accident that occurred last night. We are currently in the process of setting up a memorial service in his honor and will release more details as they become available.

"Many thanks to all for the outpouring of blessings and well-wishes during this incredibly difficult time."

RIP

RIP ASHWIN 7/23/2009



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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 10:45 PM
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 10:49 PM
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thx for posting

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 11:20 PM
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That sucks.

I was reading on sherdog everyone saying it was BS... but now we know.

As much as I thought the guy was annoying I would never wish death upon someone... also he was very important in the development of fighters in MMA.

Big loss for MMA.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 11:22 PM
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I saw pics of the wreck. Car split in two pieces.

I came here to drink some beer and kick some ass. And it looks like we are all out of beer.
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 11:24 PM
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Pics and video of the car if you want.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-11-2009, 11:49 PM
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and also a former Marine..

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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 12:21 AM
 
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 02:58 AM
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the 51 yr old was prolly trying to impress the 32 yr old by racing and lost control causing it to crash as well... i'll be interested to see what speeds the accident reconstruction comes up with.

RIP
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 03:11 AM
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Wow, there's nothing left of that Modena...

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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 03:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Muskrat View Post
the 51 yr old was prolly trying to impress the 32 yr old by racing and lost control causing it to crash as well... i'll be interested to see what speeds the accident reconstruction comes up with.

RIP
Well considering the last time I seen a ferrari torn in half, I'm guessing over 100. Took a 130mph pole hit to tear an enzo in half. But we'll have to wait for the final report.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 05:23 AM
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A couple month ago they were filming their show at crystal lake. The guy I was at the match with was the team doctor for some of the fighters, and managed to actually get us ring side judging the fights. I sat next to Mask, got some pics with him.

Good story, I know. But I was pretty stoaked that I was judging.
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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trinitrogen View Post
A couple month ago they were filming their show at crystal lake. The guy I was at the match with was the team doctor for some of the fighters, and managed to actually get us ring side judging the fights. I sat next to Mask, got some pics with him.

Good story, I know. But I was pretty stoaked that I was judging.
hey post a couple of pics with him
Ineresting story - was he approachable?

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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 08:04 AM
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Rip

...plus my gf was with me saying "omg slow down, slow down" and I was thinking "Lose annoying squalk box in passenger seat, afford more mods and have less weight in the car and on the back of the bike"...so i dumped her and I'm single again as usual...HERE KITTY KITTY!!!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 09:04 AM
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Wow too bad. RIP

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 09:22 AM
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R. I. P.
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 10:06 AM
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 01:09 PM
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Man thats fucked up. R.I.P. Mask you're a good man

This is going to be a long-term relationship
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 02:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2weelpilot View Post
hey post a couple of pics with him
Ineresting story - was he approachable?
Ya, totally. During the intermission, people were lined up waiting to meet the guys, and Mask and Skyscrape got pictures with just about all of them. Punkass, not so much. When the TV showed air, you can see me in the front row.

These pics are all from my Blackberry with a dirty lense so basically as bad as it can get. The first is as close to proof as I can get that I was front row judging. I think the crowd would have been pissed had they known a guy with absolutely no judging experience was making the decision. Luckily only three fights went to the judges and they were clearly unanimous.

The second is more proof, cause we were so close we got hit by blood. It was actually kinda funny, cause the conversation went something like this
"Hey Dr. Smith, that guys pretty close and getting his ass beat. We better keep our mouth shut to make sure we dont' get splashed with..." *splat*

The last two are Skyscrape and Mask.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg blood.jpg (45.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg proof.jpg (45.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg skyscrape.jpg (24.5 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg mask.jpg (30.7 KB, 12 views)
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 02:09 PM
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Oops, screwed up the second attachment. Here you go.
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File Type: jpg blood.jpg (17.3 KB, 9 views)
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post #21 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 02:12 PM
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post #22 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 02:30 PM
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post #23 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 02:31 PM
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Just because you can afford a Ferrari doesn't mean you know how to drive one.
R I P Ferrari.

You drink. You drive. You lose. I hope his passenger fully recovers.

I came here to drink some beer and kick some ass. And it looks like we are all out of beer.
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post #24 of 24 (permalink) Old 03-12-2009, 02:48 PM
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Sad he died but please stop saying it's a "big loss for MMA".
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