Mike Tyson avoids criminal charges for punching plane passenger
San Francisco, California - Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson won't face criminal charges after punching a man multiple times before a flight out of San Francisco last month.
The announcement reportedly came Tuesday following an investigation by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, which found the circumstances preceding the April 20 confrontation led to the decision.
"The circumstances 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 the case," District Attorney Stephen Wagstaffe said. "We now deem this case to be closed."
Video of the altercation published by TMZ in April appears to show Tyson repeatedly hitting a passenger in the seat behind him on a plane.
The incident occurred prior to the flight’s departure out of San Francisco International Airport, the district attorney said.
In a statement following the incident, representatives for Tyson, 55, described the passenger as "aggressive," saying he "began harassing [Tyson] and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat."
The district attorney’s office says it looked at footage taken by other passengers during its investigation, and reviewed incident reports from the San Francisco Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.
The reports said the victim had been drinking and "appeared to be intoxicated," the district attorney told the Daily News.
The victim shared "minimal details of the incident" with the officers who responded to the scene that day, and was treated for injuries that were not life-threatening, the San Francisco Police Department said last month. Police confirmed two people were detained.
The Brooklyn-born Tyson, who retired from boxing in 2005, returned in 2020 for an exhibition fight with Roy Jones Jr.
Cover photo: Collage: JC Olivera & Phillip Faraone/ GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP