Video shows Mike Tyson punching airline passenger
On Thursday, authorities were investigating an incident in which former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson was videotaped punching another first-class passenger on a plane at San Francisco International Airport.
The video shows Tyson leaning over the back of his seat repeatedly punching the unidentified man in the head, drawing blood. The footage was first shared by TMZ, which said it was recorded on a Jet Blue plane bound for Florida.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a bottle of water at him while he was in his seat,” representatives for Tyson said in a statement. email to the Associated Press.
Prior to the physical altercation, the man is seen in the video standing over Tyson’s seat, waving his arms and talking animatedly as the former boxer sits quietly.
San Francisco police responded around 10 p.m. Wednesday to a “physical altercation” on a plane at the airport’s domestic terminal, officials said.
“Officers arrived and arrested two subjects who were suspected of involvement in the incident. One subject was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries. This subject has provided minimal details about the incident and has refused to cooperate further with the police investigation,” police said in a statement Thursday.
Both have been released pending further investigation, the statement said.
Another passenger on the flight, Sarah Burchfield, said she saw the man Tyson punched at an airport bar earlier appear loud and argumentative.
“When I boarded the flight, I thought, Oh, no, this drunk guy is on our flight,” Burchfield told SFGate.
Burchfield said as she boarded, she passed Tyson’s seat in the first-class section of the plane.
“The belligerent guy was sitting right behind him and I saw them interacting,” she said. Shortly after, she heard the confrontation in first class, she said.
San Francisco police said the video was shared with the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, which has jurisdiction over the airport.
Sheriff officials said “we are not releasing information about the incident as it is an active investigation.”
JetBlue did not immediately respond to an email requesting additional details.
Since Tyson, 55, retired from boxing, he has worked as an actor, podcaster and cannabis entrepreneur. He was in San Francisco for the annual 420 Cannabis Festival at Golden Gate Park, where he was promoting his Tyson 2.0 cannabis brand, SFGate reported.
Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1987 at the age of 20. During his career, he won 50 victories, 44 of them by knockout.
In the 1990s, Tyson served three years in prison after being convicted of rape. He maintained his innocence in this case.
Tyson was briefly banned from boxing after infamously biting off part of Evander Holyfield’s ear during a fight in 1997.