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Tyson Pleads Innocent in N.Y. Brawl

July 24, 2003

NEW YORK (AP) _ Mike Tyson pleaded innocent Thursday to charges resulting from a fight at a Brooklyn hotel, and lawyers said the former heavyweight champion was provoked by the two men he allegedly attacked.

One of the men told Tyson, ``You’ve got fists, we’ve got guns,″ attorneys on both sides said at Tyson’s arraignment in Brooklyn criminal court Thursday.

But prosecutors also said they have a security videotape that shows Tyson responding to the taunts by hunting down the unarmed men and punching them out.

``His subsequent actions went well beyond what is permitted by law,″ said prosecutor John 0′Mare.

Tyson pleaded innocent to misdemeanor assault, harassment and disorderly conduct charges. If convicted, he faces up to a year in prison.

The boxer refused to speak to reporters as he left court. Some bystanders cheered before he ducked into a red Hummer.

Defense attorney Mel Sachs had told state Supreme Court Justice John Carter his client’s actions were justified, given the threat of weapons.

``Mike Tyson was provoked,″ he said. ``His conduct was justifiable. In fact, he showed restraint.″

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