Gene Hackman involved in road rage incident

What started off as a fender bender at a busy Los Angeles intersection Monday escalated into a fistfight between actor Gene Hackman and two younger occupants of the car he bumped.

The incident happened on a busy street off of Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood. According to witnesses interviewed by police, Hackman‘s Volvo sedan collided with a Volvo station wagon and, after both drivers pulled over, the driver of the station wagon began verbally abusing the 71-year-old actor.

Witness Nathaniel Keefer was quoted by Reuters as saying the driver of the car “was really close to (Hackman‘s) face and kept stepping up on him.”

“There was more of that for several minutes but (Hackman) seemed to keep his cool…But then something was said and (Hackman) just hit him four or five times.”

According to the witness, the second occupant in the station wagon then got out of the car and kicked the actor in the groin, wrestled him to the ground and flipped him on to his stomach.

Hackman‘s publicist Dick Guttman said the actor had no recollection of being kicked in the groin. Guttman said Hackman recalled waiting in the right lane of an intersection in his car when a vehicle in a left lane attempted to make a right turn in front of him.

Guttman said that Hackman then hit the car from behind, got out and said it was his fault. The men went to an island in front of a Virgin Record store to exchange information, at which point the driver of the second car and his passenger became belligerent.

Hackman got into a fight with them after they shoved him in the chest and hit him, Guttman said.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Police Department said that no injuries were reported and that neither party filed charges.

Guttman added that contrary to his film roles, Hackman is not a violent person.