Mike Tyson will not face criminal charges for striking airline passenger
- Mike Tyson will not face charges in connection with an incident that happened on a plane last month
- Mike Tyson was caught punching another passenger on camera
- Both men engaged in the case agreed that no charges be brought
Authorities in California have decided not to charge former heavyweight champion, Mike Tyson, in connection with an incident that happened on a plane last month that appeared to show the boxer punching another airline passenger several times.
District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe of San Mateo County, California, told CNN that he decided not to file misdemeanour battery charges against Tyson due to the circumstances involving the confrontation, including the conduct of the alleged victim, Melvin George Townsend III, prior to the incident.
"It is simply a case that does not belong in the criminal court," Wagstaffe said. "If they want to sue each other, that's their business."
TMZ Sports received a video of Tyson on a plane, bending over his seat and repeatedly punching what seemed to be another passenger in the row behind him.
In a statement at the time, Tyson's representative stated that the retired boxer had an altercation with an "aggressive passenger who began pestering him and hurled a water bottle at him."
The video released by TMZ does not depict the full encounter. The footage did not show a water bottle.
Townsend has stated that he did not throw a water bottle at Tyson.
Townsend's attorney previously stated that his client is a "huge Mike Tyson fan," and that "Tyson became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him" in a statement last month.
"This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting a flight attendant. Our client denies throwing a water bottle before being struck by Mr Tyson," Matt Morgan, an attorney, previously stated.
According to Wagstaffe, both men engaged in the case agreed that no charges be brought.
According to court records from the Clerk of Circuit Court in Charlotte County, Florida, Townsend has a long criminal history and was labelled as having "habitual felony offender status" in 2019.
Townsend has also been guilty of identity theft fraud, trafficking in stolen property, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled narcotic without a prescription.