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Police records paint violent scene between Chris Brown and Rihanna

March 06, 2009|Harriet Ryan and Richard Winton
  • Photographers stand by as a vehicle carrying Brown leaves the downtown L.A. courthouse. Brown departed without talking to the media.
Photographers stand by as a vehicle carrying Brown leaves the downtown… (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles…)

Rolling away from a recording industry party in Beverly Hills in a sleek Lamborghini, Chris Brown and Rihanna seemed the image of red carpet glamour. But several minutes into that midnight ride, according to court papers released Thursday, the luxury car morphed into a bloody crime scene with the R&B singer punching, biting, threatening and choking his pop star girlfriend as she desperately fought to get away.

"I'm going to beat the . . . out of you when we get home! You wait and see," a police affidavit quoted Brown, famed for his soulful singing and sensitive lyrics, as shouting at Rihanna.

Details of a violent Feb. 8 encounter between two of music's biggest young stars emerged as the Los Angeles County district attorney's office Thursday charged Brown with two felonies: assault and criminal threats.

In a two-minute appearance in Superior Court, Brown, 19, wore a somber expression as his attorney was granted a monthlong postponement of the scheduled arraignment. The singer, a Virginia native known for hits such as "Forever" and "Run It," faces a maximum sentence of nearly five years in prison if convicted.

Brown departed without talking to the scores of reporters and paparazzi who swarmed the downtown L.A. courthouse. Rihanna -- whose real name is Robyn Rihanna Fenty -- did not attend the hearing, but an appearance by her lawyer seemed to signal some level of support for Brown.

Her attorney told the judge that the 21-year-old singer opposed a "stay-away" order that would bar all contact.

"Miss Fenty does not request that," attorney Donald Etra told Superior Court Commissioner Kristi Lousteau.

The judge instead ordered Brown not to "annoy, harass, molest, threaten or use force or violence against anyone."

Etra, who told reporters he was at the hearing to "protect Miss Fenty's interests," stood shoulder to shoulder with Brown and his attorney, Mark Geragos, and several feet away from the prosecutor at the proceeding. Afterward, he whispered quietly with Brown.

After the hearing, Etra declined to answer questions about a possible reconciliation, but brushed off the suggestion that Rihanna was no longer cooperating with authorities.

"My client is doing everything that the law requires her to do. Whatever she is required to do as a witness in the case she'll do," he said, declining to discuss details of the alleged assault.

"This is not the time to discuss the facts of the case," Etra said, adding that Brown's fate rested with the legal system. Asked about Rihanna's whereabouts and health, Etra replied: "She is well."

Rihanna suffered bruises and a scratch during the altercation, which ended on a quiet street in Hancock Park. In the affidavit attached to a search warrant for phone records, Los Angeles Police Det. De Shon Andrews wrote that the altercation began after Rihanna -- referred to as "Robyn F." -- discovered "a three-page text message" on Brown's phone from a former lover. The couple began arguing, the detective wrote, and Brown shoved Rihanna's head against the window of the car. He then began punching her with his right hand while he steered the car with his left, according to the affidavit.

"The assault caused Robyn F.'s mouth to fill with blood and blood to splatter all over her clothing and the interior of the vehicle," the detective wrote.

Rihanna then used her cellphone to call an assistant, according to the detective. When the call went to voice mail, she pretended she was speaking to the woman and told her to have police waiting at her home, the warrant states. Brown became further enraged, the detective wrote, and told her, "You just did the stupidest thing ever! Now I'm really going to kill you!"

Brown continued pummeling Rihanna on her face, arms and legs, according to the affidavit. When Rihanna attempted to text message another assistant for help, Brown threw her phone out the window, and when she grabbed for his cellphone, he put her in a headlock, pulled her close to him and bit her ear, the detective wrote.

Eventually Brown stopped the vehicle and Rihanna grabbed the car keys and began screaming for help. Brown punched and choked her and she began to lose consciousness.

"She reached up with her left hand and began attempting to gouge his eyes in an attempt to free herself. Brown bit her left ring and middle fingers and then released her," the detective wrote.

A neighbor called the police and Brown walked away, the detective wrote.

A half-hour later, Brown phoned one of Rihanna's assistants "as if nothing has happened," Andrews said. Informed that the police were with Rihanna, Brown asked if she "had provided the police with his name and [the assistant] advised him that she had." Brown hung up, the affidavit states.

When Brown was arrested later that day, police served him with an emergency protective order barring him from contact with Rihanna.

There has been extensive speculation in the tabloids that the couple have reunited, but the police affidavit records only one contact between Brown and Rihanna's camp: Nine days after the incident, he sent a text message to her assistant apologizing and saying he planned to get help, according to the affidavit.

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harriet.ryan@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com

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latimes.com/banks

Columnist Sandy Banks says it hurts to read the police descriptions of Chris Brown's alleged attack on Rihanna because both pop stars have been favorites in her house.

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