Let’s Settle This

Written by on December 2, 2023

More than a year after a violent incident on a JetBlue flight involving Mike Tyson and a man who was allegedly harassing him during the flight, Melvin Townsend.  The victim’s attorneys have approached the boxing legend with a letter addressed to celebrity lawyer Alex Spiro, who represents Tyson. Attorneys for Melvin Townsend wrote they are demanding a settlement of $450,000, in exchange for which Townsend will decline to file a ‘future lawsuit.’ The letter reads: ‘There is no need for a lengthy summary of the events at issue – video of Mr. Tyson repeatedly punching Mr. Townsend is widely available on the Internet. In short, it is our position that Mr. Townsend was excited to see your client on the flight, and began discussing the marijuana industry and psychedelic mushrooms with him, and Mr. Tyson became annoyed.  Mr. Tyson then reached over the seat, grabbed Mr. Townsend by the shirt collar, and proceeded to repeatedly punch him in the head. The letter also included a list of medical complications and expenses Townsend faced in the aftermath of the altercation. Jondle adds, that his client experienced pain in his head and neck as well as a loss of consciousness, concussion, and contusion on the head. He also suffered nausea, headaches, depression, memory issues, sleep issues, mood disturbances, vertigo, and compromised vision in the wake of the violent incident. The document lays out several medical costs that Townsend has received for treatment in the wake of the beatdown.

In a response to the letter, Alex Spiro said,  ‘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.’ Tyson didn’t comment until later during an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live in June 2022 that he shouldn’t have physically attacked Townsend, an admission Jondle noted in his letter to Spiro. “I’m usually good at these things,” Tyson told Kimmel. “I guess it was just his number. But I was wrong. That never should’ve happened, that’s me back at my primitive child stages. I shouldn’t have done that, but I was irritated, tired, high, pissed off, yeah. S–t happens.”

The San Mateo County (California) District Attorney Office’s declined to press charges against Tyson in the incident back in May 2022. “We have reviewed the police reports of the San Francisco Police Department and the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office and have viewed the various videos collected by law enforcement from others on the airplane,” District Attorney Steve Wagstaff informed reporters. “Our decision is that we will not file any charges against Mr. Tyson based on the circumstances surrounding the confrontation.”

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