Tyson Detained Over Fracas With Photographer
Los Angeles police briefly detained former boxing champion Mike Tyson after a fracas with a photographer at the city’s international airport.
The ex-world heavyweight champion allegedly punched the photographer, who fell and was being treated in hospital for a cut to his forehead, police said.
Both men want to press charges of battery against each other.
Tyson’s lawyer suggested photographers had tried to follow his client, who was with his wife and baby, into a toilet.
The boxer, who became the youngest world heavyweight champion at the age of 20, has led a troubled life.
He served three years in prison for a 1992 rape conviction and spent 24 hours in an Arizona jail in 2007 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and driving under its influence.
In 1997, he was disqualified from a heavyweight title fight when he bit off part of his opponent Evander Holyfield’s right ear.
Photographer Tony Echevarria, 50, told police that Tyson had struck him once during the incident on Wednesday.
After treatment for his cut, airport police said, the photographer was also cautioned and both he and the ex-boxer were released “on suspicion of misdemeanour battery”.
Californian sentencing guidelines for the offence range from a fine to a custodial sentence.
Tyson’s spokeswoman, Tammy Brook, said he had been passing through Los Angeles on his way from Europe to Las Vegas with his wife and 10-month-old child when he was confronted by the photographer.
The ex-boxer acted in self-defence to protect his child, she said.
Tyson’s defence lawyer, David Chesnoff, said: “I’ve heard people were following him into the men’s room and trying to take his picture there.
“My advice to him is going to be to vigorously press charges against what everyone agrees are ridiculously aggressive photographers,” the lawyer added.
Reporting the incident, the Associated Press news agency notes that paparazzi often camp out at the airport to get shots of celebrities in transit.