The man who was punched by Mike Tyson after allegedly harassing the boxing legend aboard a JetBlue airplane at the San Francisco Airport has been identified.
Melvin George Townsend III, 36, of Punta Gorda, Florida has served 20- and 15-month prison sentences for a variety of crimes, including possession of Oxycodone, burglary, grand theft, fraud, and trafficking stolen property, according to a records search. In one 2018 incident, he stole a trailer by trespassing and hitching the unit it to his pickup, reported TMZ.
Townsend was last released from a Florida prison in July of 2020 after serving 15 months of a 25-month sentence for that incident and his use of a fraudulent personal ID. He previously did time for trafficking stolen property in 2009 and 2010.
Townsend does have a lawyer, although he has yet to sue the 55-year-old Tyson.
‘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,’ Townsend’s attorney, Matt Morgan, told TMZ.
Townsend is ‘still in shock,’ according to Morgan, who left open the possibility of a lawsuit.
‘[Townsend has] not made a determination on what his next steps will be. He hired counsel due to his physical injuries, the overwhelming nature of this event and the associated media inquiries.’
Witnesses claim Tyson was initially “cool” with all his fellow passengers, including the one sat behind him and his friend. Iron Mike even agreed to take a selfie with one of them and remained “patient” with the other man sat in the row behind him.
However, Tyson soon grew tired of engaging with the fan and reportedly asked him to be quiet, but the passenger reportedly continued to “annoy” the American boxer and that was when he snapped. Watch the video here.
As the man continued talking, Tyson then stood, turned, and threw several punches to the man’s face and forehead.
‘Hey, hey, hey, hey, hey Mike, come on, stop that,’ a man is heard saying on the cell phone footage.
Another video of the aftermath of the incident, shows the man with traces of blood on his forehead.
‘My boy just got beat up by Mike Tyson. Yeah, he got f***ed up. Just trying to ask for an autograph. I don’t know what happened.’ said the man shooting the video.
Tyson, however, claims he was reacting to an unruly passenger who had been harassing him and actually threw a water bottle at the boxing legend.
‘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 representative for Tyson told DailyMail