Chris Brown accused of punching photog in Tampa nightclub brawl
TAMPA (TMZ) - Chris Brown's nightclub appearance turned into an all-out brawl when he got into it with a photographer, according to the club owner.
Brown was at AJA Channelside early Monday morning in Tampa for a paid appearance. Management says their in-house photographer was snapping pics when Brown and his entourage arrived around 1:30 a.m., but Brown’s team shut him down, saying no photos.
Later, while Brown was in the DJ booth, the photographer told TMZ he was taking crowd shots from behind Brown and when the singer noticed, all hell broke loose. The photog says Brown jumped over a couch and punched him in the face while he was cornered.
In the video, Brown is in red, his bodyguard is wearing yellow, and right around 20 seconds, you can clearly see punches thrown into the dark corner.
TMZ reports police were called, but Brown had left by the time they arrived. The photog says his lip got split open and his jaw hurts. He told Tampa Police he wants press charges against Brown.
"We'd pursue it like we would pursue anything else," said Tampa Police Public Information Officer Eddy Durkin. "We are going to follow the investigation and follow the leads. With this case, there is a lot of social media and video captured so detectives will be going through that as well and wherever the investigation goes, is where the charges may come from. It doesn't matter who the suspect is, who the victim is, if the person is guilty, we'll take him into custody."
FOX 13 spoke several fans who said they waited hours to catch a glimpse of the celebrity. "We got there and it was like four hours until he got there," said Alicia Grieshaber.
Anthony Nicolo's phone was recording when it all went down. "I think he was trying to hide and the photographer was doing his job and trying to take pictures and Chris Brown got in his face and hit him and his friend actually hit the photographer as well," Nicolo said.
"Once he got hit, everyone started hitting each other," said Joseph Panebiaco. "We thought, we have got to get out of there quick."
This isn't the first time Brown has been connected to a violent incident. Back in 2009, he was charged with felony assault for attacking his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna. Brown was sentenced to 5 years probation.
While Brown has yet to release a statement on what happened, he posted a video to Instagram, saying, "Tampa show was great. Had fun. After party... you got way too aggressive."
Fans who saw it with their own eyes say they feel let down.
"We're big fans," Nicolo said. "He's a great dancer and singer and it's hard to see him get so aggressive in that way."
The club posted the following message on their Facebook page:
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