Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson just spoke out about his infamous viral video run-in with an “overzealous” fan on a JetBlue airplane late last month.
In the viral video, Tyson sits calmly in his seat while a boisterous man aggressively seeks his attention from a seat behind. Eventually, Tyson escalates the situation by turning around and delivering a few of his world-famous haymakers over the back of the seat. A second fan caught the interaction across the row via a cell phone video.
In a recent episode of his podcast, Tyson finally addressed the situation, including whether he faced any charges stemming from the incident.
“They said they ain’t gonna pick up charges,” Tyson shared happily, as reported by Daily Mail. “He was f*****g with me man. I took pictures with this n****.”
Tyson also said there’s always a possibility that interacting with fans goes poorly in public places without security.
“I shouldn’t even be taking public planes,” he continued. “My wife gets mad I take public planes.”
Mike Tyson described the airplane interaction caught on video as a situation that “triggers” him
“What am I going to do on a f*****g plane with my friends and [a bodyguard] he’s supposed to watch me?” he asked co-host DJ Whoo Kid and his podcast guests Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson. “A bodyguard and a f*****g yes man. What am I gonna do on a plane?”
Tyson described moments like those as “losing situations,” adding that although he felt the fan antagonized him (and reportedly threw a water bottle at his head before the camera started rolling), any sort of response from him becomes negative press because of his celebrity.
The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office reportedly did not file any charges against Tyson “based on the circumstances surrounding the confrontation.”
According to the DA’s findings, “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” led to the decision.
The antagonizer-turned-victim, Melvin George Townsend III, initially shared a cordial exchange with Tyson, according to TMZ. Witnesses say Tyson greeted multiple fans upon arrival, even agreeing to some pictures. Tyson eventually reached his breaking point, though, and threw several punches to Townsend’s forehead, leaving him slightly bloodied as a result.
“Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan,” Townsend’s lawyer told media following the incident. “When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At a certain point, Mr. Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner. Our client denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson.”