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Mike Tyson Hits Drunk, Unruly Passenger With Flurry of Punches Aboard Plane At SFO

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF/AP) -- A new cellphone video appears to show former boxing champion Mike Tyson unloading a flurry of punches on a passenger seated behind him on a plane at San Francisco International Airport.

The video was posted by TMZ, which said the incident happened at around 10:30 p.m. as the a JetBlue plane was set to fly out of SFO headed for Florida.

According to TMZ, a witness on the plane said Tyson earlier had taken a selfie a couple of passengers and was patient with one overly-excited passenger who kept trying to talk to Tyson as he sat behind the 55-year-old former heavyweight fighter.

The report cited sources close to Tyson as saying the man was extremely intoxicated and wouldn't stop provoking the boxer while in his seat.

The video shows Tyson leaning over the back of his seat and repeatedly punching the passenger in the head. The report also showed photos of a man gesturing toward Tyson in the aisle in front of him and another showing the man with a bloodied forehead.

The report said Tyson walked off the plane shortly after the incident.

"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," representatives for Tyson said in an email to The Associated Press.

The San Francisco Police Department told CBS News that officers detained two people involved in a "physical altercation onboard an airplane" at the San Francisco International Airport Wednesday night. It said one person was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries.

"That subject provided minimal details of the incident and refused to cooperate further with the police investigation," SFPD added in the statement. "Both subjects were released under 849(b) of the California Penal Code pending further investigation."

Another passenger on the flight, Sarah Burchfield, said she saw the man who Tyson punched at an airport bar earlier appearing loud and quarrelsome.

"When I boarded the flight, I thought, 'Oh, no, that drunk guy is on our flight,'" Burchfield told SFGate.

Burchfield said when she boarded she passed Tyson's seat in the first-class section of the plane.

"The belligerent guy was sitting right behind him and I saw they were interacting," she said. A short time later, she heard the confrontation in first class, she said.

San Francisco police said the video has been shared with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office, which has jurisdiction over the airport.

Sheriff's officials said "we are not releasing information on the incident because it is an active investigation."

JetBlue didn't immediately respond to an email seeking additional details.

Since Tyson, 55, retired from boxing, he has worked as an actor, podcaster and cannabis entrepreneur. He was in San Francisco for the annual 420 cannabis festival in Golden Gate Park, where he was promoting his cannabis brand Tyson 2.0, SFGate reported.

Tyson became the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1987 at age 20. During his career he had 50 wins, 44 of them by knockout.

In the 1990s Tyson served three years in prison after being convicted of rape. He has maintained his innocence in that case.

Tyson was briefly barred from boxing after infamously biting off part of Evander Holyfield's ear during a fight in 1997.

© Copyright 2022 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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