SUN HERALD ARCHIVES: Booze played role in incident (Jan. 13, 2005)

Hector "Macho" Camacho Sr. says his judgment wasclouded by tequila when he wormed his way across the ceiling of anoffice building to see if his laptop computer was visible in a computerrepair shop.

"I'm not much of a drinker," said Camacho, 42. "I was bouncing off thewalls."

The former world champion boxer was arrested Jan. 6 for the Dec. 2burglary of a Gulfport business adjoining his office space. He also wasarrested on a drug possession charge for Ecstasy pills police said werefound in a Biloxi hotel room where Camacho was visiting a friend.

Camacho on Wednesday said he doesn't use Ecstasy and the pills were nothis. But he admitted causing damages at ZDI Computer Center.

"It's the most embarrassing thing I've ever done," he said. "I didn'tmean to do anything wrong."

The Puerto Rico native and father of four sons said he was in hisoffice around 2 a.m., a bit depressed, missing his family and concernedabout a boxing contract he was to sign the next day. He said he neededhis e-mails. They were in his laptop computer in the repair shop.

"I was Curious George," he said. "I climbed up and looked over thewall. One minute I was looking down and the next I was hanging upsidedown by my leg," he said, noting he urinated on himself.

Camacho said he sent a friend to give the business owner $5,000 forimmediate repairs. Instead, ZDI's lawyer demanded $500,000, said Camacho.

David Morrison, the boxer's attorney, called the demand an "outrageous"amount for losses and damages totalling $12,910. The owner claims he wasmissing seven laptops and $5,000. Most of the property was recovered inthe building, Morrison said.

Gulfport Police Chief Steve Barnes said his officers obtained a warrantfor Camacho's arrest the day they received test results identifying himas the suspect.

Camacho said he loves South Mississippi and wants to raise his familyhere.

"I just want to do the right thing," he said. "I want it to be overquick. I'm a fighter. I want to fight. But I don't know if I can fighthere until this is over."