Last year, Mike Tyson was caught on video repeatedly punching a passenger on a JetBlue flight from San Francisco to South Florida, bloodying up the guy’s face.
Now the guy, Melvin Townsend, is demanding $450,000 in a pre-litigation letter.
“As a former undisputed heavyweight champion, the potential to cause severe injuries to another person goes without question,” Townsend’s attorney Jake Jondle wrote in the letter.
“There were several other remedies available to Mr. Tyson, but he chose physical violence,” he added.
After the incident, Tyson said that Townsend threw a water bottle at him, provoking the outburst.
The San Francisco Police Department reported that they tried to detain Melvin Townsend, but that he “provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation.”
Of course, Mike Tyson later said in a TV interview that he felt “was wrong” to have punched Townsend (even though he appeared to be antagonizing the boxer) and it “never should’ve happened.”
Jondle also claimed in his letter to the court that “immediately after the incident, Mr. Townsend had a severe headache and neck pain” and “is still suffering with the effects of the assault to this day.”
Supposedly, Townsend was unable to get follow-up medical treatment because he didn’t have insurance and “several jobs due to the unfortunate notoriety he experienced.”
The $450K would cover his medical care, medication, therapy, treatment for head and neck pain, depression and PTSD.
Oh, and he wouldn’t sue.
Mike Tyson’s attorney Alex Spiro isn’t having any of it.
“I have received a shakedown letter related to some instigator’s harassment of Mike a year ago and the aftermath,” Spiro said in a statement. “There will be no shakedown payment.”
Too bad Melvin Townsend didn’t have Dana White’s advice on how to handle being on a flight with Mike Tyson before he got clocked.