SAN FRANCISCO — Former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson was allegedly involved in a confrontation with a passenger on a flight that was preparing to depart San Francisco International Airport, according to a report.
Tyson, 55, allegedly got into a scuffle with another man in the first-class section of a JetBlue flight that was bound for Florida on Wednesday at around 10:30 p.m. PDT, The Washington Post reported.
In the video, Tyson is seen leaning over his seat as he repeatedly lands punches on the man’s head, NPR reported. Another person tries to push Tyson away, according to the news organization. The flurry of punches lasts for just a few seconds.
Prior to the assault, Tyson had agreed to take a picture with the passenger at the beginning of the flight, according to NPR. But the “overly excited” man continued to bother the former boxer during the flight, despite requests from Tyson to “chill.”
Jo Mignano, a representative for Tyson, told the Post in a statement that the passenger threw a water bottle at Tyson.
“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,” Mignano said in a statement.
JetBlue has not responded to NPR’s request for comment.
It was not clear whether Tyson was arrested or faces charges, the Post reported. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, federal law prohibits airline passengers from assaulting other passengers or crew members. Passengers can be assessed with civil penalties for any misconduct that “can threaten the safety of the flight by disrupting or distracting cabin crew from their safety duties,” according to the FAA.
“Officers arrived and detained two subjects that were believed to be involved in the incident,” San Francisco police said in a statement on Thursday. “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.”
Tyson, once known as the “Baddest Man on the Planet,” became the youngest heavyweight champion in boxing history in 1987 when he was 20. He lost the title in Japan at the Tokyo Dome on Feb. 11, 1990, to Buster Douglas, a 42-1 underdog. Douglas stunned the boxing world by knocking out the previously undefeated Tyson.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of rape and served three years in prison. Five years later he was disqualified from a fight after infamously biting off a portion of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a bout.
Dana White, president of Ultimate Fighting Championship, a mixed martial arts organization, posted a video on Twitter advising “how you stay alive” when bumping into Tyson on an airplane.
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