A 26-year-old Lincoln man was arrested on Saturday for slugging hall of fame pro wrestler Bret “The Hitman” Hart in the face as he was making a WWE Hall of Fame speech at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York
CBS New York identified the man as Zach Madsen of Lincoln, Nebraska, who apparently is an amateur MMA fighter.
According to ABC News, as Hart was accepting induction for the second time — this time as part of the tag team The Hart Foundation, along with the late Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart — a fan rushed into the ring and punched him.
The live broadcast on the WWE Network was interrupted as several people, including many wrestlers, rushed in the ring to pull the man away from Hart, who was alongside Neidhart’s daughter, Natalya. Natalya, who is a WWE wrestler herself, was also slung to the ground during the skirmish.
“An over-exuberant fan surpassed our security at ringside and made his way briefly into the ring,” WWE later said in a statement obtained by ESPN. “The individual has been turned over to the proper authorities.”
Security and a host of wrestlers, including Hart’s nephew Davey Boy Smith Jr., held down Madsen until police arrived and took him into custody.
The suspect was taken to the 78th Precinct, just blocks from Barclays Center, and charges are pending.
Hart, 61, was able to finish his speech.