David Beckham; Always Glad To Cooperate With PhotographersS

And so the debate rages: Beating up the paparazzi ... crime, or public service? David Beckham seems to believe it's the latter.

Our soccer hero is currently playing for A.C. Milan in Italy where it's safe, but while in Los Angeles last month, he supposedly ordered his bodyguards to rough up photographer Emicles Da Mata at a stoplight. Above we see said bodyguards gently explaining the situation to Mr. De Mata, who shook off the entire incident by smiling and remarking to the police "I'm going to sue his ass."

And indeed, TMZ found the lawsuit filed in L.A. County Superior Court, in which Da Mata claims "on December 7, 2008, he had stopped his car on a Beverly Hills street when Beckham reached through the driver's window and grabbed his camera and attempted to wrestle it from him. Da Mata was holding the camera at the time."

The lawsuit claims Beckham's bodyguard — also a defendant — then beat him repeatedly, grabbed the camera and threw it in a trash can. The picture (above) shows two of Beckham's bodyguards on top of Da Mata. Da Mata says he was injured and is suing for assault and battery, as well as emotional distress. He's seeking unspecified damages.

It seems extreme, but I'm telling you, for guys like Beckham and me these photographers are a curse.

Meanwhile, we have this. Don't know what that has to do with the case, actually. Sorry.

It also seems that A.C. Milan is renting Beckham with an option to buy.

Beckham Sued; Accused Of Beating Photog [TMZ]
David Beckham: My Bodyguard [Josh Q. Public]
AC Milan Wants To Take Beckham From Galaxy [NBCSports]