Pro Football Hall of Famer Terrell Owens was caught on camera punching a man in a CVS Pharmacy parking lot in what he says was an act of self defense. Owens, who played in the NFL for 15 seasons, said he was trying to de-escalate the situation after a man began threatening him and a fan.
The incident happened in Inglewood, Calif. around 11:30 p.m. on Saturday. TMZ obtained a video and reported that a 49ers fan approached Owens inside the store and they were having a friendly conversation. Another man reportedly showed up and started trouble. They all went outside, and witnesses told TMZ that the aggressor threatened to beat up the men while Owens was playing peacemaker.
Owens told The Associated Press in a statement that the man "made offensive gestures and threatening statements" to him and the fan.
"The aggressor continued threatening the fan just as he did in the store," Owens, a six-time Pro Bowler, told the AP. "Once again, attempting to defuse the ongoing situation, I placed myself between the fan and the aggressor. I made verbal demands asking the aggressor to stop his threatening behavior."
The man eventually took a swing at Owens, which made him feel "obligated to prevent the aggressor from becoming more violent." Owens punched him and the man fell to the ground. The fight didn't continue after he got up. Authorities were not called to the scene, so Owens got in his car and left.
"Like anyone else, I was making a stop at CVS and was blindsided by all of this," Owens said. "Unfortunately, I had to act using self-defense to end a threat towards myself and the fan. I will attempt to make positive from this negative experience."