Mike Tyson could face lawsuit over airplane incident
Mike Tyson repeatedly punched a man during an altercation on an airplane earlier this week, and the former heavyweight champion could face a lawsuit over the incident.
Melvin Townsend III, the passenger who was punched by Tyson, has hired a lawyer. The attorney, Matt Morgan, criticized Tyson for his actions while speaking with TMZ on Friday.
“Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan. When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited,” Morgan said. “At first, their interaction was cordial. 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.”
As Morgan mentioned, Tyson’s representatives claimed Townsend was harassing the 55-year-old and threw a water bottle at him. The incident took place Wednesday night on a JetBlue flight that was headed from San Francisco to Miami. You can see video footage of the altercation here.
“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 added.
While Morgan did not say if a lawsuit would be filed, it seems like things could be headed in that direction. A source close to Townsend told TMZ that Townsend is “still in shock and has not made a determination on what his next steps will be.”
Both Tyson and Townsend got off the plane and spoke with police. Townsend received medical attention but reportedly declined to press charges at the time.
Townsend has a lengthy criminal history and has spent time in jail on two separate occasions.