Grammy Award-winning R&B singer Chris Brown was freed from custody Monday after facing a judge on a charge that he punched a man who tried to pose in a photograph with him.
Prosecutors reduced a felony assault charge to a misdemeanour as a District of Columbia judge released Brown, who exited the courthouse to cheers and flashed a peace sign to supporters after more than a day and a half in custody.
Even with the reduced charge, the assault case represents the latest legal trouble for the singer, who remains on probation for assaulting his on-again, off-again girlfriend Rihanna just before the 2009 Grammy Awards.
Brown and his bodyguard, Chris Hollosy, were arrested early Sunday outside the W Hotel in Washington after police responded to reports of a fight. A 20-year-old man told police that he had tried to take a picture with Brown and two women when Brown told him, "I ain't down with that gay s--t" and "I feel like boxing," according to charging documents in the case. The man, identified by police as Parker Isaac Adams of Beltsville, Md., said he was punched by both Brown and Hollosy.
Brown's lawyer, Danny Onorato, said outside court Monday that his client committed no crime.
"We understand that his security acted to protect Mr. Brown and Mr. Brown's property as he was authorized to do under District of Columbia law. We are confident that Mr. Brown will be exonerated of any wrongdoing," he said.