Mike Tyson Arrested in New York Brawl
Jun. 22, 2003
NEW YORK (AP) _ Mike Tyson was released from a Brooklyn police precinct Saturday afternoon, hours after his arrest on assault charges following a brawl with two men outside a hotel.
The former heavyweight champion, who was charged with assault in the third degree, a misdemeanor, walked silently past reporters standing outside the 84th Precinct in a driving rain. Fans of the boxer shouted ``Mike! Mike!'' as he was led out by police.
Tyson, who turns 37 on Tuesday, was arrested at 5:30 a.m. after a fight with two Pennsylvania men outside a hotel, police said. All three were guests at the hotel.
According to police, Samuel Velez, 31, of Reading, Pa., and Nestor Alvarez, 24, of Philadelphia, were with a woman outside the hotel when the fight began. One of the men used a metal pole grabbed from the lobby against Tyson, who was treated for minor cuts to his hands. He had his right hand bandaged when he left the police station.
A source close to the investigation said the two men started the fight with Tyson, adding that the boxer feared the men would hit him with the pole.
``They did instigate it,'' the source told The Associated Press. ``They were harassing him, saying things to him. But Tyson was the one who threw the first punch.''
Velez and Alvarez were charged with menacing in the second degree, menacing in the third degree and harassment, all misdemeanors, said a spokesman for Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes. The men were arraigned early Sunday and entered pleas of not guilty to the charges, the spokesman said, and their next court date will be June 26.
One of the men and their female companion were treated for minor injuries at Bellevue Hospital, police said. Tyson was not taken to the hospital.
Shelly Finkel, adviser to the 36-year-old Brooklyn-born boxer, did not know any of the details of the confrontation.
``I don't know anything except what I heard this morning,'' Finkel said. ``I'm in the process of trying to find out.''
Finkel said he spoke to Tyson on Tuesday, and the boxer said he planned to travel to Phoenix.
Tyson, with a long history of legal trouble, was convicted of rape in 1992 and was sentenced to six years in prison. He served three years before being released on parole.
In a Fox television interview last month, Tyson said he was so angry about the conviction he wanted to rape his accuser, former beauty pageant contestant Desiree Washington, and her mother.
In 1997, he bit off a piece of Evander Holyfield's ear during a bout. Tyson's Nevada boxing license was suspended for a year, and he was fined $3 million. In 1999, he was released from a Maryland jail after serving 3 1/2 months for assaulting the two motorists.
Last year, he threw a punch at Lennox Lewis' bodyguard at a news conference announcing a fight between the two, setting off a brawl between Tyson and Lewis.