Actor Gene Hackman, who made headlines Tuesday when he slapped a homeless man who threatened him and his wife in New Mexico, is now being accused of assaulting a six-year-old wearing a hobo costume as he stood in the doorway of the Oscar winner’s home on Halloween night. According to authorities, the 82-year-old punched the trick-or-treater, who failed to see Hackman’s “No Solicitors” sign in his front yard, after he woke up the “Unforgiven” star.
“I thought it was a friend of that homeless guy I bitch-slapped looking for revenge,” Hackman told Hollywood & Swine. “He was holding a weapon and then he lunged at me. That’s when I smacked him.”
Tyler Cole, the six-year-old attacked by Hackman, claims the alleged weapon was only a stick with a cloth sack attached at the end, part of the standard hobo Halloween costume. Cole also disputes Hackman’s claim that he lunged at him, explaining he was simply holding out his hands in order for Hackman to give him candy.
“If anyone knows that you can’t judge a person’s age just by their height, it’s me,” said Hackman in response to public criticism for accidentally punching a 6 year-old. “I starred in the movie ‘Heist’ with Danny DeVito.”
The Halloween assault was just the latest event in what has been a hectic year for the former movie star who retired from acting in 2004. In addition to beating up the homeless man Tuesday, the actor was struck by a car while riding his bicycle in Florida last January and had to be airlifted to a hospital.
“If I’m sorry about anything,” Hackman said in a statement. “It’s for agreeing to be in that atrocious comedy, ‘Welcome to Mooseport,’ with Ray Romano.”