Last year, an incident aboard a JetBlue flight from San Francisco to South Florida made headlines when Mike Tyson was captured on video engaging in a physical altercation. According to TMZ, Tyson beat up another passenger Melvin Townsend and left him bloodied.
The affected passenger has now initiated legal action, demanding a staggering $450,000 in a pre-litigation letter.
A letter penned by his attorney Jake Jondle reads: “As a former undisputed heavyweight champion, the potential to cause severe injuries to another person goes without question. There were several other remedies available to Mr. Tyson, but he chose physical violence.”
In his defence, Tyson claimed that Townsend provoked the incident by hurling a water bottle at him. This led to a physical confrontation.
According to the San Francisco Police Department, Melvin Townsend “provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation.”
Tyson later expressed regret for his actions in a TV interview. He believed that he “was wrong” and that it “never should’ve happened” despite the fact that Townsend seemed to be provoking the boxer.
Jondle outlined the alleged immediate health impacts following the altercation. In his letter, he cited “immediately after the incident, Mr. Townsend had a severe headache and neck pain.” Additionally, he wrote that Townsend “is still suffering with the effects of the assault to this day.”
Townsend supposedly faced obstacles in seeking medical attention due to lack of insurance and subsequent job loss caused by the incident’s notoriety.
The demanded $450,000 aims to cover a spectrum of medical needs, including treatments for head and neck pain, therapy, medication, addressing depression, and managing PTSD. Additionally, Townsend intends to resolve the matter without resorting to a lawsuit.
However, Mike Tyson’s attorney Alex Spiro has vehemently refused to accept the demands. He firmly stated: “I have received a shakedown letter related to some instigator’s harassment of Mike a year ago and the aftermath. There will be no shakedown payment.”