Mike Tyson will not face criminal chargesfor repeatedly punching a man who allegedly threw a water bottle at him aboard a JetBlue flight last month, California prosecutors announced Tuesday.
San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe told TMZthat his office has decided to dismiss the case because of “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.”
The former heavyweight champ, 55, was flying first-class to Florida on April 20 when he was caught on video punching fellow passenger Melvin Townsend III several times in the head.
The in-flight beatdown was preceded by Townsend, 36, harassing Tyson and hurling a water bottle at him, according to a source close to the retired athlete who wasn’t on the plane at the time.
Townsend has denied throwing the bottle.
Wagstaffe told TMZ that neither Townsend nor Tyson wanted the incident to end up in court.
Tyson’s lawyers responded to the newsby releasing a statement Tuesday thanking the DA and all the involved law-enforcement agencies “for their careful, diligent, and professional work.”
At the time of the confrontation, Tyson was traveling from San Francisco to a weed conference in Miami, where he was supposed to be the keynote speaker.
Viral video that was posted by TMZ showed Townsend standing over Tyson’s seat, waving his arms around and talking animatedly while “Iron Mike” sat stoically.
The ex-boxer’s reps later confirmed that 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.”
The beating left Townsend bloodied and looking sullen, as seen in the cellphone recording.
He was later treated for injuries but refused to cooperate with an investigation, according to cops.