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Mike Tyson Turns on Photographers in Vancouver Hotel

January 12, 1989

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) _ Heavyweight champion Mike Tyson threw a photographer’s camera and broke a TV camera as he arrived at a hotel where his estranged wife, Robin Givens, was filming a movie.

Most of Wednesday’s incident was recorded on videotape.

″Turn that off. You guys are going to make me mad,″ Tyson warned British Columbia Television cameraman Mike Timbrell as the fighter stepped out of a taxi at the posh Hotel Vancouver.

Walking through a hallway to the lobby, Tyson repeatedly told Timbrell to ″get that thing out of my face.″

The champion then ripped a camera from a Vancouver Sun photographer and threw it toward the check-in desk. He pushed past a doorman and ripped the viewfinder from Timbrell’s $70,000 camera.

″Tyson started coming right at me. I turned my light out, then I felt my camera getting ripped out of my hand,″ Timbrell said. ″He grabbed my viewfinder and ripped it off and threw it on the ground. ... Finally I broke free from him and made it through the revolving door. He’s got a real short fuse.″

No charges were immediately filed.

Tyson, 22, had arrived from his training camp in Las Vegas without luggage or bodyguards and went immediately to the hotel, where Miss Givens has been filming an ABC television movie. He ignored reporters’ questions.

Members of the movie film crew said later that Tyson was sitting quietly in one of the rooms rented for the project.

Tyson is scheduled to fight Frank Bruno on Feb. 25 in Las Vegas. Miss Givens is seeking a divorce and has filed a $125 million libel suit against him.

Assistant hotel manager David Woodward said security had been added to keep reporters away from the boxer.

″He was harrassed by the press as soon as he got off his plane, all the way here, from the minute he stepped out of his car,″ Woodward said. ″He’s simply upset. He asked people to stay back and they didn’t so he got upset.″

Woodward said he spoke to Tyson after the incident ″and he agreed to be cool.″

Miss Givens, 24, is on a 10-day break from shooting the TV series ″Head of the Class″ to film ″The Penthouse,″ scheduled for broadcast March 12.

She plays a wealthy woman held captive by a deranged childhood friend with a history of throwing women off balconies.

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