Hillsborough County

Singer Chris Brown pleads not guilty in Tampa battery case

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) - Singer Chris Brown pleaded not guilty Monday to a felony battery charge in Hillsborough County.

Brown, 29, was arrested last week in Palm Beach County on a warrant for an incident that allegedly happened in Tampa's Channel District on April 17, 2017.

A Tampa Police Department spokesperson said that Bennie Loius Vines, 28, of Tampa had been hired to take photos at an event at Club Aja. 

Vines told police that Brown sat near him and that Brown motioned to Vines to move away.  Vines told police he moved away and attempted to tell Brown that he was hired to take pictures of the crowd.

Vines and witnesses said Brown then approached Vines, assumed a fighting stance, and punched Vines' upper lip.  Brown and his entourage then left the nightclub. 

Vines told WFLA that Brown hit him so hard, his lip broke open and he hit his head on the wall.

He was treated at Brandon Hospital and said he planned to sue the singer.  He has since hired an attorney.

Tampa police detectives investigated the incident and sent the case to the State Attorney's Office. An arrest warrant was issued on August 11, 2017.

The court document related to the plea says:  "COMES NOW, Kevin J. Napper of the Law Offices of Kevin J. Napper, P.A., attorney for the Defendant, CHRISTOPHER M. BROWN, and waives formal arraignment on the charges pending against the Defendant; files a plea of not guilty on behalf of the Defendant, CHRISTOPHER M. BROWN; and asks this Honorable Court to set a disposition/pre-trial conference date; and waives the Defendant's right to be present at the arraignment."

Brown's record of violence includes a guilty plea to felony assault for beating up his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 and a 2016 arrest on a charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

He’s currently in the middle of his Heartbreak On A Full Moon Tour.


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