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What’s a brief history?
Footage obtained by TMZ Sports appears to show the boxing star repeatedly punching a male airline passenger in the face ahead of a Wednesday evening flight out of San Francisco International Airport.
Sources close to Tyson said that the victim — later identified as 36-year-old Melvin George Townsend of Punta Gorda, Florida — was “extremely intoxicated” and “wouldn’t stop provoking the boxer in his seat” before the apparent assault.
The outlet reported that an unnamed witness and friend were boarding the flight when they noticed Tyson among their fellow passengers.
An excited Townsend reportedly “kept trying to talk to the 55-year-old fighter as he sat behind him.”
“Eventually, though, we’re told Tyson had enough of the guy behind him talking in his ear … and told him to chill,” the outlet reported. “When the guy didn’t, that’s when the witness says Tyson started to throw several punches at the man’s face.”
What are the details?
The Daily Mail has reported that Townsend has served 15- and 20-month sentences over the years for crimes including drug possession, burglary, grand theft, fraud, and more.
Townsend’s attorney, Matt Morgan, told TMZ that Tyson never should have put his hands on what he described as an “overly excited fan,” and instead ought to have “exercised greater restraint.”
It is unknown at the time of this reporting whether Townsend plans to sue the former heavyweight champion.
“[Townsend has] not made a determination on what his next steps will be,” a source close to Townsend told TMZ. “He hired counsel due to his physical injuries, the overwhelming nature of this event, and the associated media inquiries.”
A spokesperson for Tyson said, however, that the 55-year-old was merely reacting to Townsend’s erratic and unruly behavior, and said that the Florida man had been harassing him ever since he stepped onto the plane — even going as far as to throw a water bottle at the boxer.
“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,” his representative told the Daily Mail in a statement.
Townsend, however, has denied throwing a water bottle at the boxer.
A spokesperson for the San Francisco Police Department confirmed the incident with the outlet.
“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,” a statement from the department said. “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. Both subjects were released under 849(b) of the California Penal Code pending further investigation.”
Content warning: rough language:
[embedded content] Mike Tyson Repeatedly Punches Man In Face On Plane, Bloodies Passenger | TMZ Sports www.youtube.com