Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vegas Paraglider Incident Is Frightening, Not Funny

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Vegas Paraglider Incident Is Frightening, Not Funny

Article excerpt

Perhaps the only thing more frightening than a para- glider dropping unannounced into the middle of Saturday night's heavyweight title fight in Las Vegas would have been if the paraglider turned out to be Don King.

We can - for a moment anyway - make light of what happened because no one was seriously injured. This time.

Still, just when everyone assumed that locking the electric hairsman and his crooked henchmen out meant it was safe to go back in the ring, along comes someone even hairier.

Evander Holyfield, the former and once-again heavyweight champion, saw the invader before his opponent did, little more than a minute into the seventh round. And even as Holyfield backed up, astonished yet trying to avoid getting hit by Riddick Bowe, visions of what happened to Monica Seles in April popped into his head.

"I didn't know what was happening and I was trying to get away," he said. "I did think about that tennis lady being stabbed, and I didn't know who was he coming after, me or Bowe."

No motive for the drop-in is known, but it's no good to laugh and say it's just boxing or a harmless publicity stunt. And apparently, it's no longer enough to post guards at the gates. The way things are escalating, it's either going to be marksmen on the roofs or the players in a television studio and everyone else on pay-per-view.

Three people were carried away on stretchers from the parking lot-turned-fight arena in the evening chill of the Nevada desert, but all were out of the hospital by early Sunday. It could have been worse.

Two of them - Bowe's pregant wife, Judith, and his trainer, 82-year-old Eddie Futch - fainted momentarily, overcome by the bewildering turn of events. The third, paraglider James Miller, suffered minor injuries after being dragged into the crowd and catching several hard shots from someone wielding a walkie-talkie.

Miller was charged with "dangerous flying," a misdemeanor, and released after posting $200 bail. There was speculation felony charges of public endangerment might follow, but a police department spokesman said Sunday any further charges would have to come from the district attorney's office. …

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