Florida Man Punched By Mike Tyson On Flight Revealed To Be A Fraudster With Lengthy Criminal History

Florida Man Punched By Mike Tyson On Flight Revealed To Be A Fraudster With Lengthy Criminal History Florida Department of Corrections

The Florida man who was punched by Mike Tyson on a JetBlue plane has been revealed as a fraudster and conman with a lengthy criminal history. Melvin George Townsend III, from Punta Gorda, harassed Tyson aboard the flight and threw a bottle at him before the boxer had enough and hit him. It’s now clear just how planned the altercation likely was on Townsend’s behalf.

  1. Townsend has been in prison before. As the Daily Mail reports, the 36-year-old previously served 20- and 15-month sentences for a variety of crimes including burglary, drug possession, tracking stolen goods, theft, and trespassing. TMZ was the first to out Townsend’s criminal past, revealing that he was last released from prison in July 2020 after serving 15 months of a 25-month sentence for stealing a trailer and using a fraudulent personal ID.
  2. Townsend has yet to file a lawsuit against Tyson. While many assume that’s on the cards, no formal charges have been filed. Townsend’s lawyer, Matt Morgan, told TMZ that his client is still “in shock” and is deciding what to do about it. “To state the obvious, as one of the greatest fighters of all time, Mr. Tyson should have exercised greater restraint before using his hands on an overly excited fan,” Morgan said. “[Townsend 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.”
  3. Tyson’s attorney has a different version of events. His rep told DailyMail.com that the attack didn’t come out of nowhere and in fact, Tyson was simply reacting to constant harassment from Townsend. “Unfortunately, Mr. 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 rep said. Townsend’s rep denies his client threw the bottle.
  4. Townsend’s attorney is trying to play the whole thing down. He claims that his client is simply a huge Tyson fan and couldn’t contain his excitement. “When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. At first, their interaction was cordial. At a certain point, Mr. Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner,’ Morgan continued. ‘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.”
  5. San Francisco police detained two people but didn’t identify either person. They passed along video of the incident to San Mateo County Police, but no charges have been filed against anyone. “On Wednesday April 20, 2022, at approximately 10:06 p.m., San Francisco Police officers assigned to the SFPD Airport Bureau were dispatched to a physical altercation onboard an airplane located at the Domestic Terminal of the San Francisco International Airport,” the police statement reads. “Officers arrived and detained two subjects that were believed to be involved in the incident. One subject was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries. That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation. Both subjects were released under 849(b) of the California Penal Code pending further investigation.”
Jennifer has been the managing editor of Bolde since its launch in 2014. Before that, she was the founding editor of HelloGiggles and also worked as an entertainment writer for Bustle and Digital Spy. Her work has been published in Bon Appetit, Decider, Vanity Fair, The New York TImes, and many more.