Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Surreal standoff ends with Chris Brown under arrest, but the R&B singer says he's the victim

Chris Brown and the Los Angeles Police Department spent much of Tuesday locked in a surreal standoff at the R&B performer's Tarzana home over allegations that he threatened a woman with a gun.

The woman alleged Brown pointed the gun at her and she fled in fear, then balked at signing a nondisclosure agreement before escaping from the singer’s property.


For hours, LAPD officers — along with an army of reporters — stood outside the house as Brown refused to let them in. During the impasse, the 27-year-old took to social media and posted a series of videos in which he railed against the police and said he was being unfairly demonized.

This latest peculiar chapter in L.A.’s annals of celebrity justice ended late afternoon when Brown was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was released from custody around 11:15 p.m. after posting $250,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County jail records.

The incident began early Tuesday when the LAPD received a 911 call about a woman claiming she had been threatened by the performer, police said. Officers arrived about 3 a.m. at the estate in the 5000 block of Corbin Avenue.

The woman, Baylee Curran, told The Times that Brown pointed a gun at her during a violent rage before she ran outside. Curran said she and a friend went to Brown’s home with a business associate, who was invited by the musician. She wanted to talk to Brown about future projects, she said.

Inside the home, a few people were milling about and talking, she recounted. She eventually went to Brown’s backyard to get some fresh air. Her confrontation with the musician erupted soon after she walked back into the house, she said.

A man was showcasing diamond bracelets, necklaces and watches inside the home, and Curran said she was admiring the jewelry.

“I don’t know if it was Chris’ friend or how he was related, but that’s when he told me to back away from the diamond necklace and started cussing me out and calling me names,” she said. “That’s when Chris pulled his gun and told me to ‘Get out,’ he said. ‘I’m sick of you girls, get the F out!’”

Curran said she fled outside with a friend, but they were forced to wait by the home’s gate until Brown’s associates retrieved her phone — which she had to hand over as a condition of entering the residence, she said. One of Brown’s associates walked over with the phone but said he’d return it only if she signed a nondisclosure agreement, she said.

Curran said she refused, snatched her phone from the man’s hand and ran away. The man ran to a Jeep to give chase, but Curran and her friend escaped to a neighbor’s property and hid under an SUV when the Jeep drove by, she said. The neighbor contacted police.

When officers arrived, they were instructed to obtain a search warrant, police sources said. As detectives waited for the warrant, Brown shared videos on his Instagram account, praising his talents as both a performer and father, and criticizing the media for portraying him as a villain.

In the videos, he said he woke up to helicopters overhead and officers at his gate, and maintained that he was not guilty of the accusations.

“Good luck. When you get the warrant or whatever you need to do, you’re going to walk right up in here and you’re going to see nothing, you idiots,” he said in one video, occasionally taking a drag of a cigarette. “I’m tired of ... dealing with y’all.”

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Detectives eventually entered the residence shortly before 1 p.m. and at least half a dozen people exited the home, a few of them holding their hands behind their heads as police patted them down.

“We’re getting the cooperation of everyone that came out,” said Lt. Chris Ramirez, an LAPD spokesman.

Mark Geragos, Brown’s longtime attorney, told The Times that during the search of the home, he was with the singer, who denies any wrongdoing. Brown is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Sept. 20, according to jail records. He has not been formally charged by prosecutors. It is common for prosecutors to announce a decision on whether to file charges close to the date of arraignment.

It’s unclear what police recovered from the property. A law enforcement source confirmed that officers found a duffel bag that had apparently been tossed from a window. The bag contained evidence related to the case, the source said.

Previous incidents at the residence include a home-invasion robbery and multiple complaints about Brown and his friends riding all-terrain vehicles up and down the street.

Brown, a native of Virginia, rose to fame as a teenage heartthrob but became one of R&B’s more notorious bad boys following the 2009 attack on his then-girlfriend Rihanna. He spent six years on probation after pleading guilty to the attack, and his probation was lifted in March 2015.

The singer completed about 1,000 hours of community service. He was also ordered to attend anti-domestic-violence classes.

In recent years, he has also faced charges in connection with driving without a license and accusations of a hit and run. He admitted in May 2014 to violating his probation after assaulting a person outside a Washington, D.C., hotel.

Brown’s former manager, Michael Guirguis, known as “Mike G,” filed a lawsuit in June that alleged the singer attacked him. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, contends the singer punched Guirguis four times in the face and neck during a May 10 incident.

The complaint states: “The assault was unprovoked and, regrettably, just another attack in Brown’s long history of violent and abusive behavior.”

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