By Gerrick D. Kennedy
7:41 PM EDT, October 28, 2013
Chris Brown had a felony assault charge reduced to a misdemeanor in a Washington, D.C., court on Monday before being released on his own recognizance.
The singer did not enter a plea when he appeared before a judge at D.C. Superior Court following a weekend altercation that landed the Grammy Award-winning singer behind bars. He faces up to 180 days and a $1,000 fine if convicted.
The R&B singer and his bodyguard Christopher Hollosy were arrested early Sunday after an altercation outside the W Hotel just before 4:30 a.m. Sunday, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department said.
Brown, 24, and Hollosy were both taken into custody, while the victim had to be transported to an area hospital for his injuries, police spokesman Anthony Clay told The Times.
The altercation started after the man attempted to “photobomb” a picture Brown was taking with female fans. Photoboming is dropping into a picture unexpectedly as a practical joke.
According to the victim’s account to police, Brown told the man "I'm not down with that gay ..." and "I feel like boxing” before punching him in the facial area with a closed fist.
Hollosy then allegedly stepped in and punched the victim in the face, before grabbing Brown by the arm and pulling him toward the tour bus, according to the police report.
The report said the man suffered swelling and bruising to his nasal area, though it's been reported the man's nose was broken and may require surgery. The original felony charge was due to the extent of his injuries.
There have also been conflicting accounts on what started the altercation. Brown told police he did not punch the man, according to a Washington Post report.
The subject of Brown's court date dominated Twitter. The star's fans tweeted their support while detractors issued jokes referring to the singer's reputation as a bad boy.
The scene in front of the courthouse was reportedly a circus as fans swarmed to try to enter to see the hearing, prompting security to open an overflow room. Fans also held up signs outside with statements such as “Free Chris Brown” and “He was just protecting himself. He’s too cute to be in DC Jail” scrawled on them, according to the Washington Post.
Brown was in Washington on Saturday night to host a party at downtown nightclub the Park at Fourteenth, according to his Twitter feed. The W is located just a few blocks from the club.
Brown is still on five years' probation in Los Angeles County from the 2009 assault case involving his then-girlfriend Rihanna. If he is found to have violated probation, he could be sentenced to serve up to four years in jail.
Although he has been embroiled in a countless list of controversies -- a nightclub blowout with Drake, a parking lot tussle with Frank Ocean, Twitter spats – Brown has avoided serious trouble with the law in recent years.
But earlier this year, prosecutors in L.A. accused him of failing to perform his community labor sentence as instructed. A judge also revoked Brown’s probation briefly after a hit-and-run incident, also earlier this year. He was also given 1,000 additional hours of community service to perform.
Brown is due back in an L.A. court on Nov. 20.
Representatives for the singer had yet to return a request for comment.
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