A free-lance photographer said he was roughed up by two of rock star Janet Jackson's bodyguards at the Pensacola Hilton. Doug Mays, 40, of Moss Point, Miss., wanted the bodyguards arrested after the scuffle Wednesday, but police officer Richard Baily said he couldn't file charges because the parties involved gave conflicting statements.
Ms. Jackson is staying at the Hilton while using the Pensacola Civic Center across the street as a rehearsal hall for an upcoming tour.
Mays and his wife, Sammie, 32, who writes a weekly health column for the Mississippi Press in Pascagoula, said they were headed for the 15th floor of the downtown hotel to meet Good Morning America host Charlie Gibson who was doing his television program from the Pensacola Naval Air Station.
They tried to get off the elevator on the 14th floor, reserved for members of the Jackson tour, because they thought they could find a soft drink machine there, but they were met by the bodyguards, Mays said.
"They shoved me back in the elevator and asked me what I was doing there," he said. "I said we were waiting for Charlie Gibson. We thought we were being mugged."
Police said neither Mays nor his wife was hurt, but Mays said he had bruises on his leg where he was kicked and that he was shoved face-first into a wall.
The bodyguards, Jack Colen, 56, of Palos Verdes Estates, Calif., and Marcus David Johnson, 30, of Huntington Beach, Calif., told police that Mays used racial slurs after they told him to leave so they grabbed him by the arm and escorted him to the elevator and down to the lobby.
Scott Gorenstein, an assistant publicist for Ms. Jackson in New York City, said he couldn't confirm anything about the scuffle.
"But let me tell you this, would freelance people, if word got out that Janet was anywhere, be milling around?" he asked. "This comes as no surprise to me that there are photographers lurking around wherever she might be. It happens all the time."
Mays said he didn't know Ms. Jackson was in town.
The altercation occurred while Gibson was out of the hotel doing his show. Mays told police he was supposed to meet Gibson earlier while jogging but that he had overslept and missed the run.