WASHINGTON (AP) — Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Chris Brown was freed from custody Monday after facing a judge on a charge that he punched a man who tried to pose in a photograph with him.
Prosecutors reduced a felony assault charge to a misdemeanor as a District of Columbia judge released Brown, who exited the courthouse to cheers and flashed a peace sign to supporters after more than a day and a half in custody. There was scattered applause in the packed courtroom as the judge set the singer free.
Even with the reduced charge, the assault case represents the latest legal trouble for Brown, who remains on probation for assaulting his on-again, off-again girlfriend Rihanna just before the 2009 Grammy Awards.
The 24-year-old singer and his bodyguard, Chris Hollosy, were arrested early Sunday in front of the the W Hotel in Washington.
A Maryland man told police he had tried to be part of a picture Brown was taking with a woman and her friend when Brown told him, “I ain’t down with that gay s—t” and “I feel like boxing,” according to charging documents in the case. The man, identified by police as Parker Isaac Adams, 20, of Beltsville, Md., said he was punched by both Brown and Hollosy before Brown boarded his tour bus.
Brown denied to police that he punched anyone or had been involved in a confrontation, saying someone had tried to get on his bus “and my bodyguard handled it,” according to the documents. Hollosy told police he punched Adams in the face after Adams tried to follow Brown onto the bus and get to Brown, court documents say.
Adams had a broken nose, police wrote in the court documents.
Brown’s lawyer, Danny Onorato, said outside court Monday that his client committed no crime.