Airplane passenger punched by Mike Tyson was once listed as having 'habitual felony offender status' – USA TODAY

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The airplane passenger Mike Tyson punched Wednesday night has a long criminal record, according to court records.
Melvin Townsend III of Punta Gorda, Florida was listed in 2019 as having “habitual felony offender status,’’ when he was sentenced to 25 months for grand theft, according to court records with the Clerk of Circuit Court in Charlotte County, Florida.
Townsend, 36, also has been convicted of fraud by identity theft, trafficking in property known to be stolen, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance without a prescription, court records show.
The conviction of grand theft property of more than $300 but less than $5,000 stemmed from an incident in which Townsend stole a trailer by hitching it to his truck and later told police, “I am sorry for everything and I was going to return the records,’’ according to court records.
Video footage published Thursday by TMZ showed Tyson, the 55-year-old former champion boxer, punching Townsend on a Jet Blue flight at San Francisco International Airport bound for Miami after Townsend apparently badgered Tyson.
“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,” a spokesperson representing Tyson told USA TODAY Sports. 
A woman who identified herself as Townsend’s sister said he is not taking calls and declined to comment further on the record.


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