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Witness may be key in Chris Brown case

February 9, 2009 | 12:55 pm

A 911 call may be key in the alleged assault involving R&B performer Chris Brown and singer Rihanna.  The call came from a witness who apparently had no idea he or she was stepping into a high-profile celebrity case.

LAPD sources say the witness, who remains unidentified, did not know entertainers were involved when reporting early Sunday morning that a violent altercation was taking place on a quiet Hancock Park street.

Detectives are still gathering evidence in the alleged assault and have not yet turned the case over to prosecutors, who will decide whether to file charges against Brown.

“As of right now, nothing has been presented,” said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the district attorney’s office.

Brown was booked Sunday on suspicion of making criminal threats and was released on $50,000 bail. Rihanna, whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty, suffered visible injuries in the alleged altercation.

Brown and Rihanna had appeared together Saturday night at producer Clive Davis’ pre-Grammy gala in Beverly Hills.  Police say the incident occurred afterward.

Both were up for multiple awards at the Sunday night ceremony, but neither attended. Brown, 19, turned himself into police after the show was underway.

Brown’s arraignment is currently slated for March 5. His attorney, Mark Geragos, did not immediately return calls. The rented Lamborghini Brown was driving is locked in an impound lot, police said.

A publicist for Barbados-born Rihanna, who sold more digital song downloads than anyone else in 2008 with nearly 10 million tracks, said Sunday night: “Rihanna is well. Thank you for your concern and support.”

Her song “Disturbia,” which she’d been scheduled to perform at the ceremony, was the sixth best-selling digital track of the year. She was replaced by veteran soul singer Al Green, who was accompanied by country singer-guitarist Keith Urban.

A spokesman for Brown’s record label did not respond to The Times’ request for comment. Brown finished 2008 as the fourth-best-selling artist in the digital realm, posting 6.8 million tracks sold, according to Nielsen SoundScan.

-- Harriet Ryan