Tyson plane attack victim could sue (VIDEO)
Ex-world heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson could be sued after his airplane attack victim hired a lawyer who believes that the fighting icon used "excessive force" on his client.
Video footage showing Tyson laying into a man on a Jet Blue flight stationed in San Francisco International Airport went viral on Thursday. But the victim, now identified as Melvin Townsend III, has since hired a lawyer Matt Morgan who claimed to TMZ that Tyson hit Townsend excessively after being provoked and could have avoided the attack.
Morgan has presented Townsend's side of the story, which ended with the former convicted criminal suffering bloodied cuts to his head before Tyson allegedly exited the plane.
"Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan. When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At first, their interaction was cordial," Morgan began.
"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."
BREAKING: Mike Tyson throwing punches at a passenger on a Jet Blue flight. TMZ reports states that the man assaulted was annoying Tyson, took a selfie with him and kept trying to talk to the 55-year-old fighter as he sat behind him.Via @TMZ_Sportspic.twitter.com/IoT1Sm8oCK— FightClub (@fightclub) April 21, 2022
"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," Morgan concluded.
To ESPN, Tyson's camp insisted that Tyson was provoked by Townsend throwing a water bottle at him and teasing the 55-year-old Brooklynite.
"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 short statement read.
The viral footage shared by TMZ shows Townsend, who appears to be drunk, bothering Tyson sat in front of him.
Later, a clip then begins on Tyson turned around and raining a flurry of punches down on Townsend – but no bottle throw which allegedly sparked the attack – and later reveals Townsend looking stunned and showing off his wounds.
Police were dispatched to the airport to attend the incident and temporarily detained two men. And while Townsend III decided not to press charges, meaning they were both allowed to freely leave the scene, Tyson's victim now seems to be considering taking legal action.
Tyson was last seen in a boxing ring when facing former pound-for-pound great Roy Jones Jr. in a November 2020 exhibition match.
Another bout of this nature with one of the Paul brothers, Jake or Logan, has also been rumored yet laughed off by Tyson who hosts a popular podcast and is a successful cannabis entrepreneur.