Nice to see Mike Tyson back to his ol’ brawlin’ self. Not so nice to see him do it at LAX. Even less nice to see him do it not at the trendy nightclub known as LAX, but at the LAX as in Los Angeles International Airport.
Both TMZ and the LA Times report that Iron Mike was detained after getting irate at a pushy paparazzo Wednesday afternoon. And when purportedly provoked, the former pugulist did what everyone would expect him to do - calmly & politely asked the photog to respect his personal space.
No, not really.
TMZ has the tale of the [CRIME SCENE - DO NOT CROSS] tape:
We’re told Tyson was at a ticket counter at the United Airlines terminal when the incident occurred. The photographer got punched in the face, hit the ground, got up and began walking, leaving a trail of blood.
Someone at the scene tells TMZ … the photographer got very close to Tyson before the boxer struck him. Our guy on the scene says there’s blood on the ground and Mike was taken away in a squad car. We’re told an ambulance was dispatched at 4:39 PM to LAX — we’re told the paparazzo was transported to a local hospital.
However, Tyson’s rep counters that it was the photographer who was being “overly aggressive” towards Tyson and his 10 month-old child. From the LAT:
(A law enforcement) source said Tyson told investigators that the photographer struck him in an apparent attempt to provoke him. The photographer told investigators that Tyson punched him in the face and tried to take the film from his camera, according to the source, who spoke on condition that he not be named because it was an open investigation.
So, who to believe? The LAPD has a temporary solution for the time being:
Both men wanted to press battery charges against each other, so police placed both under arrest, the source said.
Seems fair. However, it’s too bad this unfortunate event had to happen now - it’s too late to include it in the “Tyson” documentary film that came out last April. Maybe we’ll see it in the sequel.
*UPDATE*: BLACK SPORTS ONLINE offers up a shot of Tony Etcheverria, the shutterbug that Tyson slugged: