The saga of Mike Tyson’s journey to Miami from San Francisco and the fan who eventually got a rise out of him has expanded. Melvin Townsend III has been identified by a popular celebrity news site as the disorderly plane passenger on the receiving end of a punch by Tyson, and he has a criminal record.
TMZ reports Townsend is from Punta Gorda, Florida, and was listed in 2019 as having “habitual felony offender status,” according to court records with the Clerk of Circuit Court in Charlotte County, Florida.
Townsend reportedly has been incarcerated twice, serving a 20-month and a 15-month sentences. Tyson also has a criminal conviction history and his redemption story over the years is well known.
Townsend III, 36, has convictions for multiple offenses like fraud, burglary, grand theft, possession of controlled substances, and trafficking in stolen property.
Additionally, more context to the charges has emerged as details from some of the accusations were reported. According to reports, he had a drug possession offense for oxycodone.
Also, in 2018 he was convicted of grand theft of property of more than $300 but less than $5,000 when he reportedly broke onto a property and stole a trailer that he eventually hitched to his pickup.
Townsend reportedly confessed to the theft saying, “I am sorry for everything, and I was going to return the records,” according to court records.
This explains it.
I couldn't imagine Mike Tyson hitting the guy over words. pic.twitter.com/5uDSQvQxOx
— Weasle (@ThaWeasle) April 23, 2022
Townsend went viral for all the wrong reasons when he had a reportedly drunken encounter with Tyson, who was attempting to fly from the Bay Area to South Florida.
However, in the video, Townsend harasses Tyson. The latter was sitting in front of him until, ultimately, Tyson’s team claims Townsend threw a water bottle at him, unleashing the pugilistic beast within.
“Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan. When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited,” Townsend attorney Matt Morgan said to TMZ. “At first, their interaction was cordial.
“At a certain point, Mr. Tyson clearly became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him in an excessive manner. This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting the flight attendant. Our client denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson.”
Tyson repeatedly flew his hands at Townsend’s head to get his point across. According to reports, eventually, both men were escorted off the plane and engaged by law enforcement.
The JetBlue passenger punched by Mike Tyson is an example of a generation of people who think they can harass, behave and do whatever they want without consequences.
Psst … F**k with the Bull you get the Horns.
I Stand with @MikeTyson
— Charlie DiLorenzo 🇺🇸 (@C__DiLorenzo) April 23, 2022
Tyson was in San Francisco for the 420 Hippie Hill event at Golden Gate Park as the guest of honor and graced the audience with his unique brand of Tyson wisdom while promoting his cannabis brand Tyson 2.0.
Tyson was en route to the Benzinga Cannabis Capital Conference at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami. He was listed as one of the keynote speakers and has been a massive advocate of the cannabis industry.
According to reports, Tyson eventually found his way to Miami and made it to the conference. Reportedly, Townsend did not press charges and stayed back in San Francisco.
“Unfortunately, Mr. Tyson had an incident on a flight with an aggressive passenger who began harassing him and threw a water bottle at him while he was in his seat,” a reported spokesperson representing Tyson told USA TODAY Sports.
Tyson has been campaigning for his cannabis business all week.
The former champ was in Lansing, Michigan, on Saturday at dispensary Liv Cannabis where he met and greeted fans and discussed why he got in the business.
“I had a brother introduce me to somebody and he convinced me that this was a no-brainer, if done properly,” Tyson said to the Lansing State Journal. “We had little bumps in the road in the beginning and that’s all straightened out now, and we’re having the time of our life.”
“I wasn’t mature enough for this if I was younger. This is the right time with things ordained by God,” Tyson said. “This is the right time for it to happen.”