There is a price to pay for being an overly excited Mike Tyson fan.
The former professional boxer was on a plane waiting for his flight to take off from San Francisco International Airport to Florida on Wednesday night when a man approached him for a selfie. At first, Tyson was calm and friendly, posing for a photo with the fan. Seated behind Tyson was the man’s eager friend who persistently tried to converse with the legendary fighter.
That’s when things took a turn.
While trying to keep patient, Tyson eventually had enough of the passenger behind him and told him to chill, according to a witness whose video was obtained by TMZ Sports.
When the man didn’t listen, Tyson’s character quickly shifted. The fighter, 55, began to repeatedly punch his face, causing the man’s forehead to bleed, as seen in the video below.
The witness said Tyson immediately walked off the plane following the incident. The man has reportedly received medical attention and has gone to the police.
The outlet further added that two people were detained. The San Francisco Police Department noted that after the man was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, they “provided minimal details of the incident and refused to co-operate further with the police investigation.”
Tyson’s reps tell ET Canada, “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.”
Lawyers for the passenger, Melvin George Townsend III, shared his side of the story in a statement to NBC via E! News saying Townsend “became overly excited” as he is a “big Mike Tyson fan.”
“At first their interaction was cordial,” the lawyer said. “At a certain point, Mr. Tyson became agitated by an overly excited fan and began to strike him.”
“This situation could have been avoided simply by contacting a flight attendant,” they added. “To state the obvious, as one of the greatest fighters of all time, Mr. Tyson should have known not to use his hands on an overly excited fan.”
The lawyer also said Townsend “denies throwing a water bottle prior to being struck by Mr. Tyson.”