Mike Tyson Punches 'Aggressive' Flight Passenger Who Was 'Harassing Him'

Mike Tyson Punches 'Aggressive' Flight Passenger Who Was 'Harassing Him'

The former heavyweight champion was seen repeatedly punching a man in the face while on a plane.

Mike Tyson was caught on video, repeatedly punching a passenger who apparently kept harassing him on a JetBlue flight from San Francisco to Florida. The 55-year-old punched the man in the face multiple times during the in-flight altercation, as seen in the footage on TMZ. "Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat," a rep for Tyson told PEOPLE in a statement. Witnesses told TMZ that Tyson walked off the plane moments after punching the passenger, who later received medical attention and went to the police. 



The San Francisco Police Department issued a statement that confirmed the incident, though not the parties involved. It read in part: On Wednesday April 20, 2022, at approximately 10:06 p.m., San Francisco Police officers assigned to the SFPD Airport Bureau were dispatched to a physical altercation onboard an airplane located at the Domestic Terminal of the San Francisco International Airport. Officers arrived and detained two subjects that were believed to be involved in the incident. One subject was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries. That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation.



Tyson is infamous for biting a piece of Evander Holyfield's right ear off during their 1997 rematch. The former heavyweight champion has served time in prison for assaulting two motorists following a traffic accident. The former boxing legend was also convicted of raping 18-year-old Desiree Washington in 1992.



According to TMZ, the man who was punched has been identified as 36-year-old Melvin Townsend, III. He has also been incarcerated on two separate occasions, once for 20 months and once for 15 months. Townsend has been convicted of grand theft, fraud, burglary, possession of controlled substances and trafficking in stolen property.



Matt Morgan, an attorney representing ​​​Melvin Townsend III, told the outlet that the 36-year-old is a fan of Tyson and denied that he ever threw a water bottle. “When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At first, their interaction was cordial,” Morgan told TMZ. “At a certain point, Mr. Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner. This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting the flight attendant. Our client denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson. To state the obvious, as one of the greatest fighters of all time, Mr. Tyson should have exercised greater restraint before using his hands on an overly excited fan." Townsend declined to press charges.


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