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Michael Jackson's death sparks bus brawl
June 27, 2009 / 2:26 AM / 8 years ago

Michael Jackson's death sparks bus brawl

<p>Michael Jackson fans leave flowers and wreaths at a makeshift memorial across the street from the County of Los Angeles Department of Coroner facility in Los Angeles June 26, 2009. REUTERS/Phil McCarten</p>

MIAMI (Reuters) - A fight broke out on a Florida bus when news of Michael Jackson’s death sparked debate over whether he should be remembered as a great musical talent, and one passenger was charged with assault, police said on Friday.

The bus was moving through the city of North Lauderdale on Thursday when passenger James Kiernan received a text message about Jackson’s death on his cell phone, and he read it aloud on the bus, the Broward County Sheriff’s Department said.

The unidentified bus driver opined that “Michael Jackson should have been in jail long ago,” prompting Kiernan, 60, to retort that “the world just lost a great musical talent,” the police report said.

It said the last remark enraged another passenger, Henry Wideman, who started a swearing match with Kiernan, then pulled out a knife and chased Kiernan down the aisle with it.

The driver called his dispatcher and pulled over near a convenience store to wait for sheriff’s deputies, who arrested Wideman, 54. He remained in jail on Friday on a charge of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

Reporting by Jane Sutton; Editing by Pascal Fletcher

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