Published: November 13, 2009
Mike Tyson was involved in a scuffle with paparazzi photographer Tony Echevarria on Wednesday (11Nov09) as he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on a flight with his wife, Lakiha Spicer, and their 10-month-old daughter Milan.
Both men made citizen’s arrests on each other and were later transported to a police station, where they were booked for identical misdemeanour battery charges. The former heavyweight champion insists it was the photographer who instigated the altercation by “attacking” him.
Tyson’s spokesperson says, “Mr. Tyson was travelling with his wife and 10-month-old child without security when he was attacked by an overly aggressive paparazzi (sic). The truth will reveal Mike acted in self-defence as a father protecting his child. We are confident justice will prevail.”
‘There’s a lot of different versions to the story,’ Los Angeles Airport Police Sergeant Jim Holcomb said. ‘That’s all going to come out later. But in this particular case, both individuals are going to be pressing charges for battery.’
‘I’ve heard people were following him into the men’s room and trying to take his picture there,’ claimed Tyson’s defence attorney, David Chesnoff.
‘My advice to him is going to be to vigorously press charges against what everyone agrees are ridiculously aggressive photographers.’
LAX police Sgt. Jim Holcomb says Tyson cut the lensman’s forehead after allegedly hitting him once, while Echevarria claims he needed five stitches after the 43 year old punched him at least four times. “When you’re getting hit by Mike Tyson, it’s the worst thing in the world you can imagine,” he said.
It is unclear if the incident will violate the terms of Tyson’s three-year probation from a drug arrest in Arizona in 2007.
If Arizona prosecutors believe Tyson crossed the legal line yesterday, they could attempt to violate his probation and he could face jail time. The worst case scenario would be 2 1/2 years in State prison.