The man who was punched multiple times by Mike Tyson is getting ready to take legal action. According to TMZ Sports, Melvin Townsend III hired a lawyer shortly after the attack, which happened on an airplane in San Francisco. The lawyer, Matt Morgan from Morgan & Morgan, told TMZ Sports, "Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan. When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At first, their interaction was cordial."
Morgan also said: "At a certain point, Mr. Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner. This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting the flight attendant. Our client denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson."
According to Tyson's team, the altercation began when Townsend threw a water bottle at Tyson, leading to him throwing several punches at him. Towsend was bloodied and reportedly suffered minor injuries. After talking to the police, Townsend declined the press charges, and he and Tyson were free to leave the incident. Townsend said he "Is still in shock and 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," according to TMZ.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), told PEOPLE that they have not received a report of an unruly passenger on the flight but "[look] into all airline reports of passenger disturbances." Tyson was heading to Miami for the Benzinga Cannabis Captial Conference, where he is listed as a keynote speaker.
This is not the first time Tyson, 55, has been involved in an altercation outside the boxing ring. According to ESPN, the former boxing heavyweight champion was accused of striking a parking attendant with an open hand back in 1989. In 1998, Tyson was charged with a misdemeanor assault following a car crash in Maryland and pleaded no contest. He spent three and a half months in jail and was placed on probation. Tyson's last official boxing match was in 2005 but did face Roy Jones Jr. in an exhibition bout in 2020. In his career, Tyson tallied a 50-6 record and won the heavyweight title twice.