Mike Tyson Airport Scuffle Probed

By on Monday, 19th April 2010 1,208 views

Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson and a photographer are being investigated for misdemeanor battery after an airport scuffle that injured the paparazzo, police said Thursday.

Tyson and Tony Echeverria, 50, made citizens’ arrests of each other after a confrontation at about 4:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport, said airport police Sgt. Jim Holcomb.

Police were called and they were fingerprinted and photographed, then released without bail, Holcomb said. The city attorney will decide whether to file criminal charges.

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Echeverria, who described himself as a freelance photographer, told police that Tyson struck him once. The photographer fell to the ground and was treated for a cut to his forehead at a hospital.

Tyson had stopped at LAX while traveling from Europe to Las Vegas when several photographers began snapping photos of him near a ticket counter, Holcomb said.

Tyson’s spokeswoman Tammy Brook said the boxer was traveling with his wife and 10-month-old child when he was attacked by an overly aggressive paparazzo.

“Mike acted in self defense as a father protecting his child,” she said.

Echeverria’s camera was booked as evidence and police also were checking whether there was any surveillance video of the incident.

Tyson was cooperative as he waited in a holding cell at the airport police station, Holcomb said. Echevarria was treated at a hospital while Tyson continued his trip, Holcomb said.

Holcomb said both men were released without any restrictions and are free to go wherever they want.

Paparazzi often camp out at Los Angeles’ largest airport to get shots of celebrities in transit.

Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion ever in 1986 when he won his title as a 20-year-old. But his life since then has been marred by accusations of domestic violence, rape and cocaine use.

Tyson was convicted of rape in Indiana in 1992 and served three years in prison. He was disqualified from a 1997 heavyweight title fight when he bit off part of Evander Holyfield’s right ear, and in 1999 he pleaded no contest to misdemeanor assault charges in Maryland.

In 2003, Tyson filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. He served 24 hours in an Arizona jail in 2007 after pleading guilty to cocaine possession and driving under the influence.

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