Mike Tyson: I Was Defending My Wife and Child

11/12/2009 at 04:10 PM EST

Mike Tyson: I Was Defending My Wife and Child
Mike Tyson
Debbie VanStory/Abaca
It may come down to a tale of the videotape.

A publicist for Mike Tyson says the former boxing champ was merely defending his wife and 10-month-old child after an altercation with an overaggressive photographer at LAX on Wednesday.

"Mike acted in self-defense as a father protecting his child," said Tyson's spokeswoman Tammy Brook.


However, photographer Tony Echevarria, 50, said in video interview posted on TMZ.com that he "wasn't aggressive, I was shooting from a distance, and I was respectful." He indicated that his videotape should back up his story.



LAX police Sgt. Jim Holcomb says Tyson allegedly hit the photographer once in the face with one hand, causing a laceration on the forehead.

Echevarria says he received five stitches and that Tyson, 43, hit him at least four times. "When you're getting hit by Mike Tyson, it's the worst thing in the world you can imagine," he said.

Both men made citizen's arrests on each other, were booked on misdemeanor battery, and were released without bail.

Tyson is currently serving a three-probation term from a drug arrest in Arizona, but it remains to be seen if the airport incident would be considered a violation of those terms.

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