“Overly Excited” Plane Passenger Punched by Mike Tyson Speaks Out

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Boxing legend Mike Tyson shouldn’t have stepped into the ring with a fellow plane passenger, says the alleged victim’s legal team.

Lawyers representing the man who was allegedly punched in the face by Tyson on a recent JetBlue flight are sharing their client’s version of the story. 

In a statement obtained by NBC, attorney Matt Morgan of Morgan & Morgan described his client, Melvin George Townsend III, as a “big Mike Tyson fan” who “became overly excited” upon seeing the heavyweight boxing champion on an April 20 flight from San Francisco.  

“At first their interaction was cordial,” Morgan noted. “At a certain point, Mr. Tyson became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him.”  

“This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting a flight attendant,” Morgan continued. “To state the obvious, as one of the greatest fighters of all time, Mr. Tyson should have known not to use his hands on an overly excited fan.” 

The attorney added that his client also “denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson.”

On April 21, a rep for Tyson told E! News that Townsend—who was sitting directly behind the professional boxer—was bothering him and had also thrown a water bottle at the athlete while he was in his seat.  

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In a video from the altercation obtained by TMZ, Tyson can be seen repeatedly striking a passenger in the head while another man attempts to intervene.  

In an April 21 statement, the San Francisco Police Department told E! News that authorities were “dispatched to a physical altercation onboard an airplane located at the Domestic Terminal of the San Francisco International Airport.” They then “detained two subjects that were believed to be involved in the incident.”  

“One subject was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries,” the SFPD noted. “That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation.”  

According to the SFPD, both subjects have been subsequently released and are “pending further investigation.”  

(E! News and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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