California DA Won’t Charge Mike Tyson for Punching Airplane Passenger

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
May 10, 2022 Updated: May 10, 2022

Former boxing heavyweight champion Mike Tyson will not face charges stemming from an incident where he was captured on video punching an airplane passenger on April 20.

The district attorney’s office in San Mateo County, California, told news outlets that it will not file charges after Tyson and the passenger he was seen punching both asked that the case not proceed.

“Yesterday afternoon the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office concluded its review of the case involving Mike Tyson at the San Francisco Airport on April 20, 2022 and the allegation that he committed a misdemeanor battery against another passenger on an airplane while waiting at the terminal prior to departure,” San Mateo District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said in a statement to NBC News.

Wagstaffe’s decision was made because of the circumstances surrounding the confrontation,” his office told SFGate, adding: “These 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 this case.”

A spokesperson for Tyson, after the incident went viral, told The Associated Press that the former 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,” triggering a reaction.

The footage shows Tyson repeatedly striking the man, who has not been identified, and appears to draw blood. Reports said that it occurred on a JetBlue plane heading to Florida.

But another video appears to show the unidentified male passenger standing over Tyson’s seat and waving his arms erratically and speaking loudly while Tyson sat quietly in his seat.

A passenger on the plane, Sarah Burchfield, told SFGate that the man appeared to be agitated and under the influence.

“When I boarded the flight, I thought, ‘Oh, no, that drunk guy is on our flight,’” Burchfield told SFGate. “The belligerent guy was sitting right behind him and I saw they were interacting,” she said.

Known as a knockout artist, Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in 1987 at age 20, holding the title until 1990. He has 50 wins, with 44 of them coming by way of knockout.

He was briefly suspended from boxing in 1997 after biting off a part of heavyweight Evander Holyfield’s ear. In the early 1990s, Tyson served a 3-year prison term after a rape conviction, although he has long maintained his innocence.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.