Film director Michael Bay fended off a man who attacked him with an air-conditioner earlier today, The New York Times reports. Bay was on the set in Hong Kong of Transformers: Age of Extinction, the fourth installment in the film series, when three men, two of whom are said to be brothers aged 27 and 28, approached him to demand approximately $13,000 in local currency. The men were reportedly seeking "disturbance fees," according to the BBC, which the production had paid out to local businesses that might suffer losses when the filming shut down certain areas of the city.
Police arrested the group and charged them with assault; the older brother is also said to have attacked three police officers who intervened. Those officers received hospital treatment for minor injuries. The authorities also charged the younger brother with suspicion of blackmail. Filming resumed after the incident.
Although Reuters reported that Bay had sustained minor injuries on the right side of his face from the attack, his publicist told the Times that was "not hurt" and that the director was successful in deflecting the cooling unit.
"The production company did have a bizarre encounter with a man (allegedly under the influence of a narcotic substance) who was wielding an air conditioning unit as a weapon," said Bay's press agent, Gabriela Gutentag, in a statement. "The man, who had earlier accosted several other crew members, rushed onto the set in Quarry Bay and swung the air conditioning unit directly at Bay's head. The director ducked and wrested the air conditioner from his attacker, preventing what could have been a serious accident. The company's security team quickly stepped in and subdued the assault. The police, who also scuffled with the assailant and two of his companions, ultimately arrested the three men."
Transformers: Age of Extinction will star Mark Wahlberg and Nicola Peltz and is scheduled to arrive in theaters in June 2014.