Wrestler Bret Hart was tackled by a fan onstage at the WWE Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Saturday, April 6.
The retired five-time WWF World Heavyweight Champion and two-time WCW World Heavyweight Champion, 61, was giving a speech at the show at the Barclays Center in NYC alongside Nattie Neidhart, whose late father Jim Neidhart competed alongside Hart in The Hart Foundation team. (Jim died in August last year at the age of 63 and The Hart Foundation was being inducted into the Hall of Fame.)
In videos posted on Twitter, a man wearing a rasta hat and blue shirt can be seen rushing the ring and grabbing Hart around the waist. The live feed went black, so people watching the show had no idea what was happening.
“It was horrifying,” an eyewitness tells Us Weekly. “Security tried to stop him and jumped in to pull him off.”
“It was extremely emotional and multiple people were crying and everyone was booing and screaming,” says the eyewitness. “People were scared Bret would get hurt because he’d had a stroke years ago.”
“That was a scary moment,” a fan tweeted. “I watched that guy run across the arena floor dive into ring and tackle Bret Hart. Every wrestler hit that ring and wanted a piece of that guy. Unbelievable.”
After the man was removed, Drake Maverick took the microphone and said, “Pay no attention to that man and let’s keep this going.”
Nattie added, “It’s time to get back to our speech,” and she and Hart finished addressing the crowd.
“Glad Bret’s fine (and went right back to his speech!),” another fan tweeted. “And no surprise but great to see all those wrestlers rushed to Bret’s aid and to grab that guy.”
“An over-exuberant fan surpassed our security at ringside and made his way briefly into the ring,” the WWE told Us Weekly in a statement. “The individual has been turned over to the proper authorities.”
The New York Police Department told Us that “the fan who jumped into the ring and attacked Bret is in custody with charges pending against him.”
With reporting by Emily Longeretta