A Florida man who was punched by Mike Tyson on a JetBlue plane has a lengthy criminal history which includes two stints in prison, according to reports.
TMZ identified the man as Melvin Townsend, III, 36, and reported that he served 20- and 15-month prison sentences. Townsend was said to have convictions for fraud, grand theft, burglary, possession of controlled substances, and trafficking in stolen property.
According to TMZ, Townsend’s drug possession charge involved oxycodone. In 2018, Townsend reportedly broke onto a property and stole a trailer that was later found hitched to his pickup truck.
The Daily Mail reported that Townsend is from Punta Gorda, Florida. According to the Mail, Townsend was released from prison in July 2020 after serving 15 months of a 25-month sentence for using a fraudulent personal ID.
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On Wednesday, Tyson, 55, was filmed punching Townsend while aboard a plane ready to take off from California. TMZ reported that Townsend, who was sitting behind Tyson, was bothering the boxer.
Tyson’s reps told TMZ that Townsend had thrown a water bottle at Tyson, prompting Tyson to punch him several times.
Tyson reportedly walked off the plane moments after the altercation which left Townsend with a bloody forehead.
Tyson and Townsend, who also got off the plane, were met by police. Townsend declined to press charges and no arrests were made, according to TMZ.
“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. That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation. Both subjects were released under 849(b) of the California Penal Code pending further investigation,” San Francisco police said in a statement issued to the Daily Mail.
TMZ reported that Tyson eventually made it to Florida while Townsend stayed in California.
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[Featured image: TMZ video screengrab]