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#pounditThursday, December 1, 2022

Prosecutors reach decision in Mike Tyson airplane incident

Mike Tyson before a fight

Nov 28, 2020; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Mike Tyson (black trunks) exits the ring after his split draw against Roy Jones, Jr. (white trunks) during a heavyweight exhibition boxing bout for the WBC Frontline Belt at the Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Joe Scarnici/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

Mike Tyson repeatedly pummeled a man during an altercation on an airplane last month, but the former heavyweight champion will not face criminal charges over the incident.

San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe announced on Tuesday morning that no charges will be filed against Tyson. He said the conduct of the man who was on the receiving end of the beating from Tyson played a role in the decision.

“We have reviewed the police reports of the San Francisco Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and have viewed the various videos collected by law enforcement from others on the airplane,” Wagstaffe said in a statement, via CBS Bay Area. “Our decision is that we will not file any charges against Mr. Tyson based on the circumstances surrounding the confrontation. These 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.”

Melvin Townsend III, the man who was punched by Tyson, declined to press charges immediately after the incident. He did, however, hire an attorney. There were hints that he might file a lawsuit against Tyson, and that could still happen.

Tyson and Townsend were on a JetBlue flight that was scheduled to fly from San Francisco to Miami on April 20 when Tyson repeatedly punched Townsend. Tyson’s representatives claimed Townsend was harassing the 55-year-old and threw a water bottle at him. You can see video footage of the altercation here.

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