No Charges Against Mike Tyson For Punching Airplane Passenger

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Mike Tyson
Tyson — the former heavyweight boxing champion — was recorded on video last month punching a plane passenger prior to departure.

Authorities will not file criminal charges against former heavyweight champ Mike Tyson after he was recorded on video punching a fellow first-class passenger aboard a plane at San Francisco International Airport last month, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office said it has closed the case and decided against pursuing charges based on “the circumstances surrounding the confrontation.”

Police previously said that the victim had provided few details about the altercation and refused to cooperate with the investigation.

Representatives for Tyson previously said the boxer was on a flight with “an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat.”

The April 20 video shows Tyson leaning over the back of his seat repeatedly striking the unidentified man in the head, drawing blood. The footage was first shared by TMZ, which said it was recorded on a JetBlue Airways 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.

Another passenger on the flight, Sarah Burchfield, told SFGate that she had seen the man who Tyson punched at an airport bar earlier appearing loud and quarrelsome.

“When I boarded the flight, I thought, ‘Oh, no, that drunk guy is on our flight,’” Burchfield told the media outlet.

Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1987 at age 20. During his career he had 50 wins, 44 of them by knockout.

Since Tyson, 55, retired from boxing, he has worked as an actor, podcaster and cannabis entrepreneur. He 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, SFGate reported.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.