Chris Brown was allegedly involved in an altercation at Tampa, Fla., nightclub AJA Channelside early Monday morning.
Tampa police report that the Loyal singer “sucker punched” a photographer who was working at a private event hosted by Brown.
The alleged victim, 28-year-old Bennie L. Vines, claims that Brown punched him while Vines was taking crowd shots of the club.
Earlier in the night, Brown and his entourage said there would be no photos. Vines says that he wasn’t photographing Brown.
Footage of the incident was posted to TMZ. They also posted two pictures of lip injuries the alleged victim claimed he sustained in the incident.
Robert Soloman, one of the owners of the club, added that Brown was only there for about “three to five minutes,” even though he was paid to be there for an hour.
“It wasn’t a brawl, Brown punched a photog for the club and walked out,” Soloman said to ABC Action News.
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According to AJA Channelside’s Facebook page, charges have been pressed.
Following reports of the incident, the Tampa Police Department issued a tweet containing the incident report, indicating that Brown is under active investigation.
The incident report states: “During an after party event, Chris Brown and his crew came into the club for a ‘showing’ for which he was paid. Bennie Vines is a photographer for Club Aja [sic]. As he was taking photos, Vines reported Chris Brown ‘sucker punched’ him for allegedly taking photos. By the time officers were contacted and arrived, Brown left the scene. The victim, Vines, wishes to prosecute for a minor laceration to his lip. Medical attention was refused. Investigation continues.”
The Run It singer had left the scene by the time police arrived.
Brown has a history of violent offences. Last August, he was investigated for assault with a deadly weapon after his manager Michael Guirguis filed a lawsuit against the singer for assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith.
In 2014, he plead guilty to misdemeanor assault after punching a fan who tried to get into a shot with him and two women. And in 2009, he was famously arrested after assaulting his then-girlfriend, Rihanna. He was sentenced to five years’ probation and six months of community service for the crime.
Earlier this month, it was reported that Brown and rapper Lil Wayne are both tied to a federal drug investigation that reportedly involves thousands of dollars worth of narcotics.
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Photographers in particular seem to be a sore point with artists.
The 2014 incident involves Miami paparazzo Manuel Moñoz, who claims that one of the singer’s bodyguards beat him and took his memory card after Muñoz snapped some pictures of the Love Yourself singer.
But that was not the first paparazzi-related lawsuit involving the Canadian pop star.
In 2013, Miami photographer Jeffrey Binion accused Bieber of allegedly instructing a bodyguard to attack him and take his film card after taking a photo of him outside a Miami-area recording studio. Bieber settled the lawsuit in 2015, which also included a deposition.
Similarly, in March 2014, rapper Kanye West pleaded no contest to misdemeanor battery in a special plea regarding an alleged brush-up with a photographer at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). He continues to maintain his innocence.
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He was sentenced to two years of probation, 24 anger management therapy sessions and 250 hours of community service.
Prior to that, West was charged with misdemeanor counts of battery and grand theft after an altercation at LAX with photographer Daniel Ramos in July 2013. And he was arrested in September 2008 after another scuffle with photographers inside a terminal at LAX, but those cases were dismissed after he completed anger management treatment and agreed to pay the photographers for broken equipment.
Brown is currently on tour and will be performing at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on April 18.
—With files from Chris Jancelewicz and The Associated PressFollow @KatieScottNews
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