Heavyweight boxing legend Mike Tyson won’t be charged for delivering a beatdown to a fellow airline passenger in an incident that was caught on video and went viral last month.
San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said the decision was made in part based on the behavior of the person Tyson pummeled over a row of seats in the April 20 incident. Witnesses said the man was drunk and was provoking the retired boxer as the JetBlue plane prepared to take off for Fort Lauderdale from San Francisco International Airports
“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. “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.”
TMZ Sports first posted the video, which showed Tyson punching the man and then showed the man with blood on his forehead.
A spokesperson for Tyson later told ESPN that the passenger had been “harassing him and threw a water bottle at him.”
A witness at the time told TMZ that Tyson took a selfie with the man, who then continued to pester the ex-heavyweight champion.
“Eventually, though, we’re told Tyson had enough of the guy behind him talking in his ear … and told him to chill. When the guy didn’t, that’s when the witness says Tyson started to throw several punches at the man’s face,” TMZ reported. “Video we obtained shows Tyson throwing a flurry of blows at the man, which you can see bloodied the passenger’s forehead. The witness says Mike walked off the plane just seconds later.”
San Francisco police interviewed and then released both men at the time.
Tyson, 55, who went by the nicknames “Iron Mike” and “The Baddest Man on the Planet” during a 20-year career that began in 1985, compiled a record of 50-6-2 and became the heavyweight champion of the world in 1986 at age 20. He later served three years in prison in the 1990s for rape.
Tyson now focuses on his cannabis line along with his podcast, “Hotboxin’ With Mike Tyson.”