Actor Richard Hatch Chokes Fan at Dragon*Con
by The Radioactive Fanboy
(originally published in Revolution SF)
Battlestar Galactica star Richard Hatch caused quite a ruckus at this yearís Dragon*Con science fiction convention, held over Labor Day weekend in Atlanta, Georgia. The actor was doing a panel on the long-defunct show when he was asked about his lack of involvement in the planned movie version of the popular TV series. According to eyewitnesses, Hatch started screaming at the top of his lungs and crying out, "Why wasnít I invited?" and began choking a fan in the front row. Fellow Galactican Dirk Benedict, who was also at the panel, stood back in shock as security restrained the belligerent television star.
"All of us, at one time or another, have dreamt of doing something like this," said Benedict, who played Hatchís cigar-chomping buddy Starbuck on the extinct sci-fi series. "Iíd love to slap all of the gits who come up to me in a badly-molded resin helmet and ask why I pushed a different button in Episode 24 than I did in Episode 23. But this outburst was really uncalled for. The fan asked a legitimate question and Richard just snapped. I mean, producers arenít scrambling to make me the star of A-Team: The Movie, but you donít see me getting bent."
"Iíve never seen one of our guests crack like this," said Dragon*Con Director of Security Andy Yeager. "Usually itís the fans we have to kneecap with batons and ball gag, but Iíve never seen one of these TV has-beens go off. I guess all those years of unemployment just build up."
Hatch reportedly throttled 33 year-old Galactica fan George Tucker of Valdosta, Ga, who posed the question.
"I just really wanted to know how he felt about it," said the startled man hoarsely. "I guess now I know."
Hatch was straddling the man and choking him violently when a security team armed with electric cattle prods arrived, pulled Hatch off and, according to eyewitness Cordwainer Bird, "pumped him full of enough juice to stun an allosaurus."
Tucker said he is hurt and upset, but refused to press charges due to his "deep respect" for the man. Tuckerís girlfriend, Alice Sheldon, was also very shaken by the proceedings.
"George said that he would use the money he got from selling Richard Hatchís autograph on Ebay to take me to the Bahamas, once he got down to his ideal weight. Now that plan is shot." Hatch himself has declined to comment, being that he was still lying on the floor in a fetal position and foaming at the mouth at press time, but through his Website, richardhatch.com, he has managed to change the subject by adding a new bulletin board topic: fantasy casting for Battlestar Galactica II.
Despite his attack, he will be allowed to return to next yearís convention because he is such a big draw. "People come from miles around and sleep in their cars just so they can meet him," said Dragon*Con spokesman and Webmaster Paul W. Cashman. "Besides the dealerís room and Apollo Smile, heís the only reason people show up every year."
George Tucker will be back too, though probably with a different girlfriend. "I have the greatest respect for Mr. Hatch and will be back again and again. You know? It wouldnít be at all strange if we became friends. Long live Galactica! Whoo-hoo!"
After visiting Dragon*Con, The Radioactive Fanboy has to lie down.