SANTA FE (KRQE) - Actor Gene Hackman said he feared for his and his wife's safety when he slapped a homeless man near the Santa Fe plaza Tuesday afternoon, Santa Fe police are reporting.
The homeless man, Bruce Becker, is claiming Hackman attacked him.
Sgt. Andrea Dobyns told KRQE News 13 police were called about 1:30 p.m.
Becker, about 63, told officers Hackman had attacked him near Lincoln Avenue and West Marcy Street about a block from the plaza.
The officers also interviewed Hackman and his wife and quoted Hackman as saying they already were worried about their safety when Becker called Mrs. Hackman a vulgar name. That when Hackman slapped Becker in the face.
The officers believed the Hackmans' account of the incident, Dobyns said.
Becker is not in custody, and no charges have been filed, she added.
The veteran actor is known for roles from Clyde Barrow's brother in "Bonnie and Clyde" to Lex Luther in "Superman." He won the Academy Award for best actor as Detective "Popeye" Doyle in 1971's "The French Connection." He is a resident of Santa Fe.