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Greek punched by Baumgartner says flyer is no hero

Supersonic skydiver Felix Baumgartner, 43, is due in court this week (TUE 6 Nov) accused of punching a Greek lorry driver in the face in a road rage incident outside the Red Bull Arena in his home town of Salzburg, Austria.

Baumgartner has already been convicted of assault over the incident, but has appealed and this week a three-judge appeals panel will consider Baumgartner's lawyer's objections to the conviction.

The victim, named only as Dimitrios P., 38, for legal reasons, told Austrian media at the weekend that the incident which happened on 30th September 2010 was because the former professional boxer and military training instructor Baumgartner had acted in an arrogant manner. He said the star felt he did not need to follow the same rules as everybody else on the road.

He said: "I was waiting at a roundabout and there were about four cars in front of me. He didn't want to wait and overtook us all and then of course got wedged on the roundabout. The other driver that was involved was his photographer – and he felt that he could also do the same and he followed Mr Baumgartner, at which point I decided to have a word with the photographer.

"Mr Baumgertner decided that it was his job to get involved and he tried to claim I had attacked him and it was self defence, but that is madness. There were two of them. The reality is that he punched me full in the face with his fist and left me with a cut.

"There was blood everywhere. I never tried to conceal anything at the court – I admitted that I had tried to kick him but it was only in retaliation. He was just acting the tough guy and showing off and making himself into the hero, but he isn't a hero at all. He hasn't said sorry to me about what happened and I'm pleased that he's going to finally see justice now when people will see what he is really like."

The lorry driver said that after hitting him, Baumgartner had climbed into his car and driven off.

In the original trial the court chose to believe the version of events put forward by the Greek man rather than that of Baumgartner and the German photographer - and fined him 1,500 euros for assault.

A spokesman for the Salzburg prosecutors office Barbara Feichtinger confirmed: "The 43-year-old man involved in this case has registered an appeal."

Baumgartner will not be present during the court case as he is currently on a tour talking about his adventures. But his lawyer Severin Irslinger said that the skydiver had merely defended himself and had not attacked the Greek man.

Austrian Times


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