Brown beat, bit and threatened to kill Rihanna, prosecutors allege [UPDATED]
Court documents released today allege that singer Chris Brown savagely beat and bit pop star Rihanna last month and threatened to kill her.
Brown was charged with two felonies that carry the possibility of prison time. In a complaint filed this morning, the L.A. County district attorney accused Brown, 19, of assault “by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury” and criminal threats. The charges carry a sentence ranging from probation to almost five years in prison, according to prosecutors.
The document identified the victim in the Feb. 8 incident as “Robyn F.” Rihanna’s full name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty. In the complaint, prosecutors alleged that Brown threatened “to commit a crime which would result in death” to Rihanna and that what Brown threatened “was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey ... a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution.”
She feared for her safety or the safety of her family during the alleged attack, according to the complaint.
He was arrested the day of the Grammy Awards after LAPD officers responded to a 911 call reporting an assault on a quiet, tree-lined street near Beverly Boulevard. When officers arrived, they found an injured Rihanna and Brown’s rented Lamborghini, but no sign of the R&B singer.
According to a search warrant written by Police Det. Deshon Andrews, the assault began when Rihanna picked up Brown’s phone as the couple drove away from a pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills. The singer saw a long text message on Brown’s phone detailing a sexual encounter between him and another woman, the warrant said.
The pair began arguing, and Brown pulled the rented Lamborghini to the side of the road and tried to make Rihanna get out of the car, according to the warrant. When her seat belt got in the way, he began punching her in the face.
“The assault caused Robyn F.’s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the car,” the detective wrote in the warrant filed Feb. 20.
During the alleged assault, the detective wrote, Brown told Rihanna, “I’m going to beat the [expletive] out of you when we get home. You wait and see.”
After Rihanna feigned a call to her personal assistant -- pretending to ask the woman to have police waiting at her home -- Brown became enraged, telling her, “Now I am going to kill you,” according to the warrant.
The assault escalated with Brown biting Rihanna on the ear and putting her in a headlock until she lost consciousness, according to the warrant. When she tried to free herself by “gouging his eyes out,” the detective wrote, he bit her finger. Her screams for help were heard by a neighbor, the warrant says.
Fox 11 News first reported the contents of the warrant.
Brown surrendered to police that evening and was booked on suspicion of criminal threats. He later issued a statement apologizing for the incident. In the warrant, the detective says Brown sent a text message to Rihanna’s assistant. Rihanna, who has never been identified publicly by police, was treated at a medical facility after the incident, a police source said. The gossip website TMZ.com published a photo of the 21-year-old’s bruised and scratched face. The Police Department launched an investigation to determine if any of its personnel sold or otherwise leaked the picture.
Updated at 4:20 p.m.: During a court hearing in downtown Los Angeles today, an attorney for Chris Brown postponed his arraignment until April 6. Brown also signed a "waiver of presence" that the judge agreed to, meaning that he would not have to appear in court for mostly procedural matters.
Brown signed the waiver in open court. The judge told Brown that he was ordered not to "annoy, harass, or threaten ..." (garbled). The judge asked Rihanna's lawyer Donald Etra if Rihanna required a stay-away order, to which Etra responded, "Ms. Fenty does not require that type of order."
-- Richard Winton, Ari B. Bloomekatz and Harriet Ryan
Photo: Chris Brown appears in court today. Credit: Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times