Team Tyson Puncy Over Mike's Criminal Past


Published: February 17, 2004

NY Post – February 14, 2004

If Mike Tyson takes the stand during his assault trial stemming from a brawl with two fans at the Brooklyn Marriott hotel, Brooklyn prosecutors said yesterday they want to be able to confront him about his past criminal history.

But it’s a request the Tyson defense team will want to KO.

“They can’t introduce his past criminal history because it’s prejudicial,” said defense lawyer Steven Brounstein.

A judge will decide on the issue Feb. 26, right before Tyson’s trial is scheduled to begin in Brooklyn criminal court.

Tyson served three years behind bars for raping beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington in 1991. He was also jailed for 31/2 months in Maryland for assaulting two motorists in 1999.

In the upcoming assault case, Tyson and the two fans, Samuel Velez and Nestor Alvarez-Ramos, were busted last June 21 after fighting at the Downtown Brooklyn hotel.

The fans say Tyson went ballistic after Ramos asked him for an autograph.

But Iron Mike says he struck out in self-defense after Velez allegedly said, “You got fists. We got guns,” and reached into his waistband. Velez has denied the allegation.

Prosecutors said Velez and Alvarez-Ramos – who’ve pleaded not guilty to menacing – started the fight. But, they added that Tyson – who has pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor assault, harassment and disorderly conduct – went too far in ending it.

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