Pacquiao attacker references LGBT controversy
HOLLYWOOD—Security is going to be tight for Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas from now on after a man attacked the eight-division champion at a parking lot of a Japanese restaurant Sunday afternoon.
Pacquiao had just finished lunch at Kabuki Restaurant on Vine St., here and greeted well-wishers before heading for the parking lot where his Ferrari was stationed. According to some witnesses, all of a sudden, a tall, decently dressed man around 35 to 40 years old lunged at the boxer and tried to throw a punch.
Fortunately, Edward Lura, Pacquiao’s longtime friend, was able to ward off the Caucasian-looking attacker.
Other members of Pacquiao’s security detail joined the fray and subdued the man, according to David Sisson, Pacquiao’s personal assistant, who witnessed the incident that occurred around 3 p.m.
The attacker continued screaming at Pacquiao, referencing the LGBT controversy he sparked with his comments about same-sex marriage.
“F**k you, f**k you Pacquiao. You homophobic…”
Pacquiao remained calm and told his security not to hurt the man.
“Let him go. Don’t hurt him.”
Other eyewitness accounts, however, said the attacker merely verbally abused Pacquiao before he was whisked away by security personnel.
Security personnel heeded his call and just pushed the man away as Pacquiao left the premises of the Japanese restaurant where members of his entourage usually had lunch after attending church service.
Sisson, son of American missionaries based in General Santos City, added that Johnny Bantilan, a former boxer and Pacquiao’s friend, had to be restrained from going after the attacker.
The commotion, which drew the attention of restaurant personnel and customer, was apparently an offshoot of the LGBTbrouhaha involving Pacquiao last February.
Pacquiao remained calm throughout the incident and even joked that the attacker was not an enemy but a fan.
“He’s a fan. He was saying Pacquiao, not f**k you,” Sisson quoted Pacquiao as saying.