by David P. Greisman
Retired two-division titleholder Vinny Pazienza was arrested Wednesday night in Rhode Island and charged with malicious damage and disorderly conduct after an alleged tantrum that came after a bartender asked him to pay a $23 tab and then leave, according to the Associated Press and local television station ABC6.
“The bartender insisted he pay, and Paz refused,” according to the television station’s report. “Paz is accused of smashing two bar stools against the bars and then throwing them. Paz continued to confront the bartender, but a friend got between the two.”
Last September, the 50-year-old former fighter was sentenced to 30 hours of community service and ordered to undergo alcohol counseling after pleading no contest to one count of disorderly conduct, according to a report at the time by the Associated Press.
Prosecutors dropped one count of simple assault, the report said.
Those charges stemmed from an alleged incident that happened in July at a bar/restaurant, according to a Providence Journal report at the time. Pazienza had been accused of grabbing one woman’s breast, which led to the two yelling at each other, causing the woman’s friend to get involved. That second woman accused Pazienza of hitting her in the throat, grabbing her hair and throwing her to the floor.
Pazienza, meanwhile, told police that “he grabbed [the second woman’s wrists] until she released him, then she fell,” according to the newspaper.
Pazienza held world titles at lightweight and junior middleweight, and also challenged for belts at junior welterweight and super middleweight. He last fought in 2004, ending his two-decade career on a win that brought his record to 50-10 with 30 knockouts.
David P. Greisman is a member of the Boxing Writers Association of America. Follow David on Twitter @fightingwords2 or send questions/comments via email at [email protected]