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Hackman Slaps Homeless Man

SANTA FE, N.M. — Actor Gene Hackman slapped a homeless man in downtown Santa Fe Tuesday afternoon in what city police are calling an act of self-defense.

Hackman, the Oscar-winner who has appeared in such films as “The French Connection,” “Unforgiven,” and “The Quick and the Dead,” was walking with his wife near Lincoln and Marcy at about 1:30 p.m. when he encountered the homeless man, who became aggressive and threatening toward the couple, according to police Sgt. Andrea Dobyns.

The sergeant said the homeless man, Bruce Becker, 63, was not panhandling and she didn’t know exactly why he approached the couple.

Dobyns said Becker called Hackman’s wife a dirty name, then began to approach the actor.

Hackman, 82, slapped the man on the face. Becker was not injured, according to Dobyns.

Becker called 911, Dobyns said, and reported the incident to police. Hackman and his wife remained on the scene to make a statement.

No charges will be filed in the incident, Dobyns said.

Becker’s court record includes charges of battery on a peace officer, aggravated battery and abandonment or abuse of a child.

Hackman is a longtime Santa Fe resident. A message sent to his publicist seeking comment was not returned Tuesday.

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