UPDATED 5/10, 1:45 p.m.: Charges will not be pursued against Mike Tyson. Per the Associated Press, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office announced on Tuesday that it’s closing the case due to “the circumstances surrounding the confrontation.”
District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe wrote in a statement that those circumstances “include the conduct of the victim leading up to the incident, the interaction between Mr. Tyson and the victim, as well as the requests of both the victim and Mr. Tyson that no charges be filed in this case.”
Tyson’s attorneys shared their appreciation for the decision, stating, “We thank San Mateo District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe, the San Mateo County Sheriff, and all law enforcement agencies involved in this investigation for their careful, diligent, and professional work.”
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UPDATED 4/22, 1:40 p.m. ET: The man Mike Tyson got into an altercation with while on a JetBlue flight has been identified by TMZ as Melvin Townsend, III. According to the publication, the 36-year-old has had several run-ins with the law in the past, including being convicted of grand theft, fraud, burglary, possession of controlled substances, and trafficking in stolen property. He has also been incarcerated on two separate occasions, once for 20 months and once for 15 months.
Matt Morgan, an attorney representing Melvin Townsend III, told TMZ that the 36-year-old is a fan of Tyson and denied that he ever threw a water bottle at the 55-year-old boxer.
“When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At first, their interaction was cordial,” Morgan told the outlet. “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.”
Morgan went to say that Tyson shouldn’t have hit Townsend. “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.”
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A video of an incident on a plane on Wednesday appears to show Mike Tyson repeatedly punching a fellow passenger after he wouldn’t leave the boxer/actor/podcaster alone.
TMZ reports that the moment went down on a flight that was scheduled to go from San Francisco to Florida. A witness said the passenger was overly excited upon discovering he was sitting behind Tyson, and he secured a selfie with him. But as the passenger continued to try to talk to Tyson, he apparently annoyed him enough to be told to relax. The outlet also reports via a source that the man was “extremely intoxicated and wouldn’t stop provoking the boxer in his seat.”
The retired boxer allegedly then turned around to punch the man in the face multiple times, as seen in the footage on TMZ. Shortly after hitting the guy, Tyson walked off the plane. The victim, who could be seen with a bloodied face, received medical attention and has since contacted the police, although there’s no word on whether an investigation has been launched.
TMZ got a statement from Tyson’s reps reading, “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.”
The video comes less than a month after Tyson was filmed keeping his cool when a man challenged him to a fight and pulled out a gun. That clip was taken at a comedy show and shows Tyson sitting still while the man appeared to get more and more animated, which prompted the host of the event to tell the man to back off. That’s when a gun was drawn and cocked, sending attendees into a brief panic. Tyson, however, sat there in silence as the man put the gun away.
TMZ Sports spotted Tyson entering the Eden Roc Miami hotel Thursday night in good spirits, despite what occurred the previous day. Even as he dealt with an aggressive pap in pursuit of his response to the airplane incident, the former heavyweight champ remained silent, maintained his cool and took some time to snap a few photos with fans.
Tyson is in Miami to speak at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Afterparty at LIV Thursday night.
San Francisco Police said two people involved in the incident were detained, one of which was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. That same person allegedly refused to cooperate with their investigation.