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Alleged Tyson Victim Files Charge

September 2, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A man who says he was kicked in the groin by Mike Tyson following a minor traffic accident filed an assault charge Wednesday against the former heavyweight boxing champion.

Richard Hardick, 50, says Tyson kicked him after his car rear-ended a Mercedes driven by Tyson’s wife, Monica, on Monday. Hardick said his car was forced into Tyson’s car after it was rear-ended by a third vehicle.

The complaint charges misdemeanor second-degree assault, said Michael Johnson, administrative commissioner for the District Court of Montgomery County, Md.

``I don’t believe he did it,″ said Shelly Finkel, an adviser to Tyson.

In the complaint, Hardick said he was talking to the driver of the third car about the accident when he saw Tyson punch the driver. Tyson’s wife and another man _ a Tyson bodyguard, witnesses told police _ were trying to restrain the boxer, he said.

``Despite being restrained, Mr. Tyson hit the man in the face,″ Hardick said. Fearing for his own safety, Hardick said he returned to his car and locked it, but subsequently rolled down his window to talk with the man who had earlier tried to restrain Tyson.

``I then thought that Mr. Tyson had calmed down and we could proceed with the exchange of information,″ Hardick said in the complaint, explaining why he got out of his car a second time.

Tyson was being restrained again, but managed to kick Hardick in the groin, he said.

The boxer left the scene but later was pulled over by police, who had received calls from witnesses. Tyson, 32, was not originally charged because there was no evidence of serious injury.

Officers usually don’t file charges in misdemeanor assaults that they do not witness, said Derek Baliles, a spokesman for Montgomery County police.

Tyson and his wife declined to give a statement Monday, providing ``only personal information,″ police said.

A preliminary hearing on the assault charge has been set for Oct. 2. If convicted, Tyson faces 10 years in jail and-or a $2,500 fine.

In Indianapolis, Marion Superior Court Judge Patricia Gifford, who sentenced Tyson following his rape conviction, said Tuesday she expected probation officials would review the Maryland incident.

Tyson is due to released from court supervision in March.

He served three years in an Indiana prison for rape, and a lawsuit is pending in Montgomery County in which two women contend Tyson yelled slurs at them and flipped a table over in a Washington restaurant in March.

Last year, Tyson lost his license to box and was fined $3 million after he bit Evander Holyfield’s ears in a title bout. He is scheduled to appear before the Nevada Athletic Commission Sept. 19 seeking a new license. Commission members have said they will want an explanation of the events surrounding Monday’s accident.

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