Mike Tyson won’t face charges for punching airplane passenger
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson won’t be charged after an altercation at San Francisco International Airport last month, according to the San Mateo County district attorney.
A video of the April 20 incident published by TMZ shows Tyson repeatedly punching a man while on a plane leaving SFO.
According to Tyson’s representatives, the man, who was intoxicated, harassed Tyson and threw a water bottle at the former boxer while he was in his seat. Tyson had been in San Francisco promoting a new social media app in conjunction with 4/20 festivities in Golden Gate Park.
San Mateo County District Attorney Stephen M. Wagstaffe told KRON on Tuesday morning that his office concluded its review of allegations that Tyson committed misdemeanor battery.
“We have reviewed the police reports of the San Francisco Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and have viewed the various videos collected by law enforcement from others on the airplane,” he stated. “Our decision is that we will not file any charges against Mr. Tyson based on the circumstances surrounding the confrontation. These include 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.”
The District Attorney’s Office said it has closed the case.
Video of the altercation, taken on April 20 video, shows Tyson leaning over the back of his seat repeatedly striking the other passenger. TMZ said the footage was recorded on a JetBlue plane bound for Florida.
Prior to the physical altercation, the other passenger was seen on the video standing over Tyson’s seat — waving his arms and talking animatedly while the former boxer sits quietly.
Attorneys for Tyson praised the district attorney’s decision in a statement on Tuesday, thanking law enforcement for their “careful, diligent and professional work.
Tyson, who is now retired from boxing, was in San Francisco in April for the annual 420 cannabis festival in Golden Gate Park, where he was promoting his cannabis brand Tyson 2.0, the Associated Press reported, citing SFGate. Tyson had also been promoting a social-media app called Relevnt, and had been scheduled to “explore the wide range of topics that interest him, from business to history, and weed to sports and social topics” during a chat.
Tyson was previously the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1987 at age 20. During his career, he had 50 wins, 44 of them by knockout.
In the 1990s, Tyson served three years in prison after being convicted of rape. He has maintained his innocence in that case. Tyson was also briefly barred from boxing after infamously biting off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a fight in 1997.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.