The Tampa Police Department has launched an investigation after an alleged video surfaced on social media of 27-year-old singer Chris Brown punching a photographer at a Tampa nightclub early Monday morning, according to ABC Action News.
At around 1 a.m. on April 17, AJA Channelside owners—a Florida nightclub—paid Chris Brown to make an appearance at an after party event in which he was supposed to stay for an hour, but the “Privacy” singer left after three to five minutes, causing the club to lose thousands of dollars, according to one of the nightclub owners Robert Solomon.
The Grammy winner’s departure from the Tampa nightclub came moments after Chris Brown allegedly “sucker punched” a 38-year-old photographer, Bennie L. Vines, as he was taking photos of the singer-songwriter, which was purportedly caught on camera.
The cellphone footage of Chris Brown at a Tampa nightclub depicts the singer standing on the side of the stage with his presumed bodyguard, but his actions are unclear since his back was facing the camera.
However, witnesses say there were shocked to see Chris Brown “sucker punching” a photographer who he allegedly asked not to take pictures.
Fans were upset after Chris Brown left the club as they were hoping to get a “glimpse of the singer,” including Joseph Panebianco, who went to the Tampa nightclub with a group of friends and waited hours to see Brown.
Panebianco said, “It was pretty much like a shame going there and seeing that.”
“That’s just wrong I think,” said Anthony Nicolo, “So he lost me as a fan.”
The photographer sustained a small laceration to his lip after allegedly being “sucker punched” by Chris Brown. Recent reports indicate that Vines refused to seek medical attention.
The club owners contacted the Tampa Police Department but Chris Brown left the nightclub before police officials arrived at the scene.
Authorities say the alleged “sucker punch” ordeal occurred after Brown’s performance at the Amalie Arena, where Chris Brown’s concert went without incident.
Solomon said, “It wasn’t a brawl, Brown punched a photographer for the club and walked out.”
It was reported that Chris Brown subsequently went to the Drynk on South Howard Avenue where he met up with rapper Fabulous. The Drynk manager Enrique DeJesus stated that Brown didn’t leave until it closed at 3 a.m.
DeJesus said the singer was “just having a good time,” adding that “he’s done events with us before and always did a great job, very professional. He didn’t seem like anything was wrong.”
In a Facebook post, AJA Channelside released the following statement.
“Incidents like the ones caused by Chris Brown and his team are very sad to see. As everyone witnessed, he showed up to the club at around 1:30 a.m. After only a few minutes of being there, Chris Brown himself and his team assaulted our club photographer and proceeded to walk out of the venue.
“AJA Channelside and our employees apologize for the inconvenience. Assault charges were pressed and we are dealing with the proper authorities accordingly. We appreciate your constant support.”
Chris Brown is making headlines again for reasons that are unrelated to his music. Just some weeks ago, his ex-girlfriend Karrueche Tran filed a restraining order against Brown, accusing the singer of “assaulting her several years ago and threatening to kill her” in February.
Last week, rumors surfaced that Tran and Quavo—a member of the group Migos—are dating. TMZ reported that Chris Brown felt betrayed as he considered Quavo to be one of his closest friends.
Officers with the Tampa Police Department state that no arrests have been made in the alleged Chris Brown “sucker punch” incident but an investigation is underway.
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