Gene Hackman admits to slapping homeless man, police say

Oct. 30, 2012 at 11:29 PM ET

Oscar winner Gene Hackman admitted to slapping a homeless man across the face Tuesday afternoon, saying the guy approached him and his wife, Betsy, in a menacing manner and called Betsy a derogatory name, Santa Fe, N.M., police confirm to E! News.

Sgt. Andrea Dobyns told E! that the man on the receiving end of the slap called authorities at around 1:30 p.m. to report that he had been beaten up by Hackman. 

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Officers who responded were able to talk to both the caller and Hackman, who was still in the area after eating at a nearby restaurant. 

The "Unforgiven" star told police that the man approached him and Betsy in a very aggressive manner, called his wife a nasty name and otherwise made them fear for their safety. 

The man got into his face, according to Hackman, and he hit him, "more like a slap than a punch," Dobyns said. 

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The guy had no visible injuries and no one was arrested or cited for the altercation. 

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"It looked like Mr. Hackman did this purely out of self-defense to protect himself and his wife," said Dobyns. 

--Reporting by Holly Passalaqua 

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