A professional mixed martial arts fighter was arrested at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on Tuesday after a snafu at a ticketing counter sent him into a rage and he attacked another traveler, police said.
It took a priest and two women to put a stop to a fight between Charles Haywood, 43, of Griffin, and another man, the victim told Channel 2 Action News.
Police were called to the Spirit Airlines ticket counter at the airport about 7:30 p.m. after Haywood and Ivan Williams brawled.
Williams told Atlanta police Haywood “struck him in the face several times in addition to kicking and choking him,” police spokesman Officer Jarius Daugherty said.
Several witnesses told officers Haywood threw the first punch. His wife said Haywood is an MMA fighter and was stressed out before a big fight, but police were not able to confirm that.
In cellphone video of the incident obtained by Channel 2, a man identified as Haywood is heard asking Williams, “Who wants some?”
"He kicks me, he missed,” Williams said in an interview with the news station. “It took a priest and two ladies to get him away.”
Police said Haywood was upset about being denied a flight.
“During the investigation, a Spirit Airlines representative advised officers that Mr. Haywood was denied service due to being on their ‘no fly list’ and he did not provide identification,” Daugherty said.
After arguing with the airline representatives, Haywood reportedly became aggressive with other travelers before he singled out Williams.
Several officers struggled to detain Haywood, who Daugherty said was not compliant and threatened police. One of the officers sustained a minor hand injury, he said.
Haywood was checked for minor injuries and arrested on charges of battery and obstruction. He bonded out of the Clayton County Jail on Wednesday, records show.
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