Mike Tyson got a break.
The retired boxer will not be criminally charged after a widely shared video emerged of him grooming a passenger last month on a JetBlue flight from San Francisco to Fort Lauderdale.
The California District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday (May 10) that the case is now closed. The office decided not to pursue the charges based on “the circumstances surrounding the confrontation,” according to the Associated Press.
“This includes the conduct of the victim that led to the incident, the interaction between Mr. Tyson and the victim, as well as requests by both the victim and Mr. Tyson not to press charges in this case,” said Prosecutor Stephen Wagstaff. in the current situation.
The April 20 video clip shows Tyson leaning on the back of his seat repeatedly hitting a man later identified as Melvin Townsend III in the head, apparently bleeding.
Townsend is a 36-year-old Florida man with a lengthy rap newspaper dating back to 2008. According to Charlotte County court records, previous charges included possession, burglary, theft and fraud with time behind bars.
Punta Gorda’s attorney, Matt Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, issued a statement to TMZ Sports after the incident saying the violence was caused by Tyson’s overreaction.
“At one point, Mr. Tyson clearly got angry at an overzealous fan and started hitting him in an excessive way,” the statement read. “This situation could have been avoided simply by calling the flight attendant.”
A representative of Iron Mike said Townsend threw a water bottle at him, which provoked the violence. Morgan denied this.
The Hangover Star’s lawyers applauded the attorney general’s decision and thanked law enforcement authorities for their “careful, diligent and professional work.”
Tyson has not commented publicly on the matter. One of his recent posts over the weekend shows him behind the scenes with Chris Rock at the Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.
Comedian Will Smith was famously slapped on stage after making a joke about the star’s wife, Jada, at the Academy Awards.
Tyson praised the rocker on Instagram: “The greats make it hard to look,” Tyson wrote of the ex SNL star. “Chris is a student in comedy and that is why he is one of the greatest. He is calm and focused before the show, no drinking, no distractions… that’s what the hero’s mentality is all about, honors and always trying to perfect the profession.” – Miami Herald/News-Tribune Service