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Traveler Assaulted By Mike Tyson During 2020 Flight Initiates Legal Action After Prolonged Delay


A lawsuit has been filed in San Mateo County Superior Court by a first-class passenger who was assaulted by renowned boxer Mike Tyson during a well-publicized incident on a JetBlue flight in 2022.

The altercation occurred on April 20, 2022, and Tyson was not charged, as determined by the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office, citing insufficient grounds.

Filed on April 19, just one day before the expiration of the two-year statute of limitations on certain claims, the lawsuit seeks redress for the plaintiff’s grievances.

The complaint details how Melvin George Townsend, then 36, engaged in conversation with Tyson, a childhood hero, and purchased drinks for him before the flight from San Francisco to Fort Myers, Florida. However, the situation took a violent turn when Tyson, without provocation, launched a physical assault on Townsend.

Despite being of smaller stature compared to Tyson, Townsend asserts that he endured a severe beating, sustaining multiple blows to the head and neck.

Townsend credits Tyson’s companion with intervening and potentially saving his life during the assault.

In his version of events, Townsend emphasizes that he exhibited no aggression towards Tyson and was merely expressing admiration for the boxing legend.

The lawsuit highlights Tyson’s ongoing involvement in combat sports, notably his upcoming fight with Jake Paul, and references video evidence from the flight to support Townsend’s claims.

While Tyson’s camp alleged that Townsend had been aggressive and threw a water bottle, such actions are not corroborated by available video footage.

The lawsuit targets Tyson with claims of assault, battery, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, while also implicating JetBlue for negligence in failing to protect Townsend from Tyson’s actions.

Townsend seeks a jury trial to adjudicate his claims, although the exact amount of damages sought has not been disclosed.

JetBlue has yet to respond to requests for comment on the lawsuit.

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