Man Punched by Tyson Wants $450k

( – The man who literally got into it with Mike Tyson and got punched in the face during a JetBlue flight is seeking $450,000 in damages, a move characterized by Tyson’s attorney as an attempt at extortion.

Melvin Townsend, represented by lawyer Jake Jondle, delivered a “pre-litigation settlement demand” to Tyson’s legal team, asserting injuries and damages resulting from the former heavyweight champion’s purported assault on a flight from San Francisco to Florida in April of last year.

The letter contends that Townsend, a North Carolina resident, was merely an enthusiastic fan seeking conversation with Tyson, whose aggressive actions were captured by fellow passengers and widely circulated online. Jondle emphasized Tyson’s potential to cause severe harm as a former undisputed heavyweight champion and criticized his resorting to physical violence.

Following the incident, Townsend allegedly suffered severe headaches, neck pain, and ongoing effects of the assault. Lacking insurance, he faced difficulties seeking immediate medical attention and reportedly lost several jobs due to the resulting notoriety.

The six-figure settlement demand is intended to cover Townsend’s current and future medical expenses, including therapy and medication for head and neck pain, as well as depression and PTSD. Acceptance of the settlement would prohibit Townsend from pursuing any future legal actions against Tyson.

In response, Tyson’s attorney, Alex Spiro, staunchly rejected cooperation or payment. The altercation gained public attention when a video surfaced showing Tyson punching Townsend after the latter allegedly threw a water bottle at the former boxer. While Tyson later expressed regret for his actions on Jimmy Kimmel’s show, Townsend’s legal demand suggests a different context, emphasizing a friendly conversation about the marijuana industry and psychedelic mushrooms.

Despite Tyson’s acknowledgment of wrongdoing, on TV shows and podcasts, authorities did not press charges related to the incident, which Tyson openly discussed on his “Hotboxin’” podcast in May 2022 when he revealed his side of the event.

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