An attorney for the Jet Blue passenger who was repeatedly punched in the face by Mike Tyson says the former heavyweight champion used excessive force.
Attorney Matt Morgan wants Tyson, 55, to pay for beating down his client, Melvin Townsend III, on a flight from San Francisco to Florida on Wednesday.
Tyson's team tells TMZ, Townsend harassed the ex-pugilist and even threw a water bottle at him. And that's why Tyson cleaned Townsend's clock.
Cell phone video shows Townsend sitting behind Tyson on the flight. At times he hovering over the back of Tyson's seat and seemed to be badgering the people's champ.
Morgan tells TMZ:
"Our client is a big Mike Tyson fan. When Mike Tyson boarded the plane, he became overly excited. 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's team told TMZ Townsend had thrown a bottle at him - and that's why Tyson cleaned the guy's clock.
Tyson's fury left Townsend's face bloody, but he declined to press charges against the former boxer.
A source tells TMZ that Townsend "Is still in shock" and weighing his next move. He hired a lawyer due to his physical injuries and to handle the avalanche of media requests for comment.
TMZ did some digging, and Townsend is no angel. In fact, he has an extensive criminal history.
The 36-year-old has been convicted of fraud, grand theft, burglary, possession of controlled substances and trafficking in stolen property, TMZ reports.