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Legendary boxer Mike Tyson apparently was caught on video punching another passenger on a flight out of San Francisco Wednesday night — and according to one attorney, he could face felony battery charges over the incident.
Video released by TMZ Sports on Thursday appeared to show Tyson punching a man seated a row behind him at San Francisco International Airport. According to the report, the man continued to badger Tyson after he told him to “chill.”
The San Francisco Police Department told the outlet that two people believed to be involved were detained and that one person was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. They added that the person being treated “provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation.”
Tyson’s rep confirmed to TMZ Sports that the man not only was harassing the boxer but also threw a water bottle at him before the incident — but according to Chicago-based attorney Andrew Stoltmann, Tyson could face serious repercussions.
“Historically trained fighters, mixed martial artists, are usually held by both police and judges to a higher standard in large part because it goes to intent,” he told Fox News Digital on Thursday.
“A trained fighter realizes they have the ability to inflict extensive damage than a layperson and a typical defense in these sorts of claims are self-defense. Right? Tyson was defending himself from this gentleman. Well, when you’re the former heavyweight boxing champion of the world, that defense is almost completely eviscerated.”
Stoltmann explained that unless the man did or said something “egregious” to provoke the attack, “Tyson is facing an uphill climb, and there are likely going to be felony battery charges filed against him.”
Because the incident took place on a plane, Tyson potentially could be “prohibited” from flying, Stoltmann added.
“Where it happened is really important for a couple of reasons. First off it’s clear that San Francisco still has jurisdiction over him, but Tyson could also be banned or prohibited from flying as well because the FAA is cracking down heavily on unruly passengers and Mike Tyson beating someone up on a plane is about as unruly as it gets.”
Stoltmann said if no criminal charges are filed, he would be “shocked” if the man involved didn’t file a civil lawsuit.
“We still have to hear what the eyewitnesses have to say,” he said.
Tyson’s rep could not be immediately reached by Fox News for comment.