Former professional boxer Mike Tyson was caught on video repeatedly hitting a fellow passenger onboard a JetBlue (JBLU) flight from San Francisco Airport (SFO) to Fort Lauderdale Airport (FLL).
The incident occured on the evening of April 21, 2022. Tyson was traveling in JetBlue’s (JBLU) Mint business class, and so was the fellow passenger who reportedly would not leave the boxer alone.
American media TMZ reported that the passenger Tyson hit “was extremely intoxicated … and wouldn’t stop provoking the boxer in his seat.”
According to TMZ, prior to the assault, Tyson agreed to the passenger’s request to take a photograph with him at the beginning of the flight. But the “overly excited” man continued to bother the former boxer during the flight, despite requests from Tyson to “chill.”
TMZ Sports uploaded the video footage, where the passenger seems to taunt and verbally provoke Tyson. The passenger also appeared to be communicating with the person taking the video footage. A subsequent clip showed Tyson leaning over his seat and pummeling the passenger with two hands. The last clip shows a close-up shot of the passenger’s bloodied face.
A representative of Tyson told CNN that the passenger threw a water bottle at the former boxer.
“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,” Joann Mignano, a representative for Tyson, said in a statement given to CNN.
The San Francisco Police Department tweeted that at approximately 10:06 PM, officers assigned to the SFPD Airport Bureau were dispatched to a physical altercation onboard a plane located at the domestic terminal of SFO.
(1/3) On Wednesday April 20, 2022 at approximately 10:06 PM, officers assigned to the SFPD Airport Bureau were dispatched to a physical altercation onboard an airplane located at the Domestic Terminal of @flySFO. pic.twitter.com/orgizXQ2YF— San Francisco Police (@SFPD) April 22, 2022
Police told CNN that two people believed to be involved in the incident were detained.
This incident came just a day after the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) made the announcement that its Zero Tolerance Policy on unruly passengers will be made permanent.