Lincoln man accused of attacking retired pro wrestler during speech at Hall of Fame induction

A Lincoln man was arrested on suspicion of assault and criminal trespass in connection with an attack on a former pro wrestling great Saturday night during a Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City.

Zachary M. Madsen, 26, is accused of tackling Bret “The Hitman” Hart, 61, while he was giving a speech during his WWE Hall of Fame ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, according to a report by the Associated Press. Madsen was promptly subdued by several people, including other wrestlers, who came to Hart’s defense.

Hart appeared uninjured and returned to giving his speech. Madsen, who is an aspiring mixed martial arts fighter, ran toward the ring from the crowd, spectator Alan Fisher told AP.

“I couldn’t believe that the security had missed him in the first place, and the next thing you know there was Shane McMahon and Travis Brown on top of him; the crowd was going crazy booing,” Fisher said. “Everyone was cheering when one of the wrestlers punched him.”

Several shocked onlookers posted footage of the tackle online.

“He should have never attacked Bret Hart especially at such a special moment in his life,” Fisher said.

A check of Nebraska court records found that Madsen is awaiting trial for violation of protection order. Haris Talundzic, who is a mixed martial arts fighter, obtained the protection order from a Lancaster County judge because he said Madsen had been stalking him and trying provoke a fight.

Talundzic, 21, said he had trained with Madsen at a Lincoln gym. Talundzic said he left the gym and quit training with Madsen, according to the protection order, because he became concerned about Madsen’s mental stability.

A message left with Madsen’s family was not immediately returned.