Chris Brown’s attorney was in court Thursday to enter a not-guilty plea on his client’s behalf.
Brown, who waived his appearance at his scheduled arraignment in a Hillsborough County courtroom, faces a felony battery charge after police say he punched a photographer at Tampa club in April 2017.
Brown’s attorney, Kevin Napper, had already entered a written plea that was accepted Thursday by Circuit Judge Christopher Sabella.
The alleged battery happened at an “afterparty” at Aja Channelside for Brown’s concert at Amalie Arena in April 2017. Multiple guests posted photos and videos to social media sites of Brown jumping over a couch to get to Bennie Louis Vines Jr., the 28-year-old photographer hired by Aja staff.
According to Tampa police, Vines said Brown’s security told him to stop taking photos of the star when he arrived about 1 a.m., so he began snapping photos of the crowd. Brown then took a seat near the photographer and motioned for him to leave, then lunged towards the photographer and punched him twice in the face, causing a small cut on his lip, Vines said. By the time Tampa police arrived at the club, Brown and his entourage were gone.
Brown was arrested July 5 after a show in West Palm Beach by police who were waiting just off stage with a warrant for his arrest. He spent less than an hour inside the Palm Beach County Jail before posting $2,000 bail and performed the following night for a near-sell out crowd at MidFlorida Amphitheatre in Tampa.