Secret Service report could help Chris Brown’s defense
Los Angeles (CNN) — A Secret Service report on Chris Brown’s alleged assault on a man in Washington on Sunday offers insight into the singer’s possible defense strategy.
The document obtained by CNN suggests that Brown’s bodyguard will take the rap for a man’s broken nose, while lawyers could question the creditability of one of the police officers who investigated the case.
“I was on the (tour) bus when I guess someone tried to get on and my bodyguard handled it,” Brown told a Secret Service officer investigating the incident on a sidewalk in front of the W Hotel just a few blocks from the White House. The incident happened around 4:25 a.m. Sunday, hours after the singer hosted a party at a nearby nightclub.
“Christopher Brown committed no crime,” his attorney Danny Onorato said Monday. “We understand that his security acted to protect Mr. Brown and his property, as he is authorized to do under District of Columbia law. We are confident that Mr. Brown will be exonerated of any wrongdoing.”
Brown bodyguard Christopher Hollosy — who stands 6 feet, 5 inches tall and weighs 240 pounds — told investigators he punched the man in the face because he tried to follow Brown into the tour bus. The man was trying to get to Brown, so he “was just doing his job” as a bodyguard when broke his nose, he said, according to the report.
Brown’s weekend arrest in the District of Columbia threatens his freedom in California, where he is serving felony probation for the 2009 domestic violence conviction in his attack on ex-girlfriend Rihanna.
Beating the simple assault charge in Washington would help his lawyer persuade a Los Angeles judge not to find him in violation of probation rules, which require him to stay out of any legal trouble.
Brown, 24, checked himself into a “rehab facility” Tuesday in an effort to “gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior, enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point,” his representative told CNN.
It is unclear if Brown’s rehab stint will cause him to miss two court dates next month — including a November 20 probation hearing in Los Angeles and a November 24 preliminary hearing on the assault case in Washington.
Prosecution of the assault charges against Brown and his bodyguard is based on statements given to investigators by the alleged victim — identified as Isaac Adams Parker, 20, of Beltsville, Maryland — and a woman who is a friend of Parker.
Cop’s credibility questioned
The woman, who is not identified in the police reports, told a Secret Service officer that the violence started when she and a female friend were standing on each side of Brown, posing while the singer’s bodyguard used her cell phone to take a photo.
When Parker “moved in” and tried to take his own photo with Brown and the women, she heard Brown tell Parker, “I’m not with that gay s–t,” and then “I feel like boxing,” according to the Secret Service report. Brown then punched Parker in the face with a closed fist, she said.
Parker also told the Secret Service officer that when he tried to get into the photo, Brown said “I ain’t down with that gay s–t,” the report said.
Another witness told the officer that he saw Brown chase Parker and swing at him, but he couldn’t see if Brown’s punch landed on Parker.
But Brown’s lawyers could raise questions about Parker’s credibility — or at least the credibility of one of the investigating police officers — based on what the Secret Service officer reported.
A friend of Brown’s says that a Metropolitan Police Department officer told him that Parker said Brown never hit him, the Secret Service report says.
The report says the officer denied to other detectives that he had spoken to Brown’s friend. However, the Secret Service officer contradicts him. “A uniformed Secret Service officer approached detectives and verified that he overheard the MPD officer” telling Brown’s friend that Parker said Brown never hit him, the report says.
Parker “denied he ever told anyone” that Brown had not hit him, according to the report.
Anger management rehab?
There has been no indication that Brown has a substance abuse problem. The behavior that has landed him in legal trouble over the past several years has been anger management.
Brown’s brutal attack on Rihanna on the eve of the Grammys in February 2009 resulted in a felony domestic violence conviction that carried a lengthy probation period. A judge found him in violation of that probation in August because of discrepancies in proving he fulfilled the court-ordered 1,400 hours of community labor. He imposed another 1,000 hours of work.
The Los Angeles County district attorney appears in no mood to cut Brown any breaks, which suggests that prosecutors will ask for jail time for him because of the arrest early Sunday in the shadow of the White House. While the simple assault charge in Washington is a misdemeanor, it could trigger a probation revocation.
Brown is in a vulnerable position. The Los Angeles judge overseeing his felony probation could order him to complete as many as four years in prison for the beating of Rihanna if he is found in violation of probation. Prosecutors have declined to comment on if they will seek to put him behind bars.
Brown spent 36 hours in a Washington jail and was taken to court in shackles Monday afternoon. He was released and ordered to report to his California probation officer within 48 hours. He checked into an undisclosed California rehab facility the next day.
The probation officer’s job is to prepare a report for the Los Angeles judge who will decide if Brown will be found in violation of his probation.
Going to rehab could allow Brown lawyer Mark Geragos to argue that the entertainer is getting proper help for his core problem.
The statement from Brown’s representative did not disclose how long he intends to stay or what might be a “healthier vantage point” for him.