Tyson was arrested on Wednesday (11Nov09) after becoming embroiled in a scuffle with Tony Echevarria 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 hauled to a police station, where they were booked for identical misdemeanour battery charges.
Echevarria spoke out about the incident on Thursday (12Nov09), accusing Tyson of snapping after he was asked about his wife, and lashing out without provocation.
But the former heavyweight champion insists it was the photographer who instigated the altercation by “attacking” him.
Tyson’s spokesperson Tammy Brook 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.”
A police official claims Tyson cut the lensman’s forehead after hitting him once, while Echevarria claims he needed five stitches after the 43 year old punched him at least four times.
It is unclear if the incident will violate the terms of Tyson’s three-year probation from a drug arrest in Arizona in 2007.