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Mike Tyson Hit Fellow Airline Passenger In Head After Man Threw Water Bottle At Him, Reps Say
“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,” representatives for Tyson after the incident in San Francisco Wednesday night.
Mike Tyson was caught on video hitting a fellow airline passenger in the face on a plane bound for Miami, after the man allegedly thrown a water bottle at the boxing legend.
Tyson had been traveling Wednesday night from San Francisco to Miami on a JetBlue flight, when a fellow first-class passenger began to harass Tyson before take-off, according to his representatives.
“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,” representatives for Tyson said in a statement, according to SFGATE.
The man, who had been sitting in first class behind Tyson, can be seen in video footage obtained by TMZ standing behind Tyson’s seat, flailing his arms and pointing at the 55-year-old as Tyson apparently tries to ignore the man’s antics.
Tyson is later seen in another video hitting the man repeatedly in the head before the fighter reportedly gathered his things and walked off the flight. Video shared by TMZ shows the man with minor, bloody injuries around the right side of his forehead near his hairline.
The San Francisco Police confirmed that two officers stationed at the airport were dispatched to a “physical altercation onboard an airplane” around 10:06 p.m. Wednesday night.
“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,” police said.
Police added that the injured man “provided minimal details of the incident” and “refused to cooperate further with the investigation.”
Both subjects were released pending “further investigation,” police said. TMZ reported that the SFPD forwarded the video to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office
A witness on the plane told TMZ Sports that Tyson had initially been friendly to the man and his companion, even posing for a selfie, but the man continued to try to interact with Tyson, even after the boxing legend had told him to cool it.
Sarah Burchfield was also been on the flight and told SFGATE that she spotted the man who had been bothering Tyson at a bar before the flight. She described the man as appearing loud and intoxicated.
“When I boarded the flight, I thought, ‘Oh no, that drunk guy is on our flight,’” she said.
As she walked to her seat, she recognized Tyson and noticed the “belligerent guy” sitting behind him and “interacting” with Tyson.
On one of the videos published by TMZ, some of which was taken prior to the violence, the man who gets hit can be seen holding what appears to be an alcoholic beverage and the person apparently taking the video says, "My dog done got lit, man, he over here rapping with Tyson."
Tyson, who still holds the record as the youngest boxer to ever to win a heavyweight title, had been at a 420 cannabis festival in Golden Gate Park earlier that day promoting his cannabis brand, Tyson 2.0, and was heading to Miami Wednesday night for another marijuana-themed event.
Tyson appeared to have put the incident behind him on Thursday and happily posed with wrestler Ric Flair at the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference Afterparty.
"We’re Live At LIV In Miami! WOOOOO! @itstyson20 @MikeTyson @LIVmiami," Flair wrote on Twitter alongside the picture of the pair.
It wasn’t Tyson’s first brush with unsanctioned violence. The boxing champ served time for rape in 1992 and made headlines in 1997 when he bit off part of boxer Evander Holyfield’s ear during a match. He was temporarily banned from boxing after that incident.