Chris Brown and the Los Angeles Police Department spent much of Tuesday locked in a surreal standoff at the R&B performer's Tarzana home over allegations that he threatened a woman with a gun.
The woman said Brown pointed the gun at her and she fled in fear, then balked at signing a nondisclosure agreement before escaping from the singer’s property.
For hours, LAPD officers — watched by an army of reporters — stood outside the house as Brown refused to let them in. During the impasse, the 27-year-old posted a series of videos on social media in which he railed against the police and said he was being unfairly demonized.
This latest peculiar chapter in L.A.’s annals of celebrity justice ended late in the afternoon when Brown was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon. He was released around 11:15 p.m. after posting $250,000 bail, according to Los Angeles County jail records.
The incident began early Tuesday when the LAPD received a 911 call about a woman claiming she had been threatened by the performer, police said. Officers arrived about 3 a.m. at the estate in the 5000 block of Corbin Avenue.
The woman, Baylee Curran, told The Times that Brown pointed a gun at her during a violent rage before she ran outside. Curran said she and a friend went to Brown’s home with a business associate, who was invited by the musician. She wanted to talk to Brown about future projects, she said.
Inside the home, a few people were milling about and talking, she recounted. She eventually went to Brown’s backyard to get some fresh air. Her confrontation with the musician erupted soon after she walked back into the house, she said.
A man was showcasing diamond bracelets, necklaces and watches inside the home, and Curran said she was admiring the jewelry.
“I don’t know if it was Chris’ friend or how he was related, but that’s when he told me to back away from the diamond necklace and started cussing me out and calling me names,” she said. “That’s when Chris pulled his gun and told me to ‘Get out,’ he said. ‘I’m sick of you girls, get the ... out!’”
Curran said she fled outside with a friend, but they were forced to wait by the home’s gate until Brown’s associates retrieved her phone — which she had to hand over as a condition of entering the residence, she said. One of Brown’s associates walked over with the phone but said he’d return it only if she signed a nondisclosure agreement, she said.
Curran said she refused, snatched her phone from the man’s hand and ran away. The man ran to a Jeep to give chase, but Curran and her friend escaped to a neighbor’s property and hid under an SUV when the Jeep drove by, she said. The neighbor contacted police.
When officers arrived, they were instructed to obtain a search warrant, police sources said. As detectives waited for the warrant, Brown shared videos on his Instagram account, praising his own talents as both a performer and father, and criticizing the media for portraying him as a villain.
In the videos, he said he woke up to helicopters overhead and officers at his gate, and maintained that he was not guilty of the accusations.
“Good luck. When you get the warrant or whatever you need to do, you’re going to walk right up in here and you’re going to see nothing, you idiots,” he said in one video, occasionally taking a drag of a cigarette. “I’m tired of ... dealing with y’all.”
Detectives eventually entered the residence shortly before 1 p.m. and at least half a dozen people exited the home, a few of them holding their hands behind their heads as police patted them down.
“We’re getting the cooperation of everyone that came out,” said Lt. Chris Ramirez, an LAPD spokesman.
Mark Geragos, Brown’s longtime attorney, told The Times that during the search of the home, he was with the singer, who denies any wrongdoing. Brown is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on Sept. 20, according to jail records. He has not been formally charged. It is common for prosecutors to announce a decision on whether to file charges close to the date of arraignment.
The results of the search, as well as other witness testimony, will weigh heavily in the prosecution’s decision to charge Brown, experts say.
“At the end of the day it is a he-said she-said scenario,” said Dmitry Gorin, a defense attorney and a former sex crimes prosecutor in Los Angeles. “The prosecution must find other witnesses, surveillance footage, the firearm in question, to corroborate what happened to ever be able to prove this case in front of a jury."
It’s unclear what police recovered from the property. A law enforcement source confirmed that officers found a duffel bag that had apparently been tossed from a window. The bag contained evidence related to the case, the source said.
Details area also beginning to emerge about Curran, who was crowned Miss California Regional 2016 on April 1, but lost her title soon after, on July 5.
“She is not the current title holder,” said Joshua James, a spokesman for the Miss California Regional pageant.
“There was some instances that occurred during the pageant and they were investigated and due to our investigation, we considered it would be in the best interest for the organization and the other contestants that we have her dethroned.”
Curran “has been asked numerous times” to return the crown and sash, which she has refused to do, according to the pageant organization.
TMZ reported that she was stripped of her title because nude photos purportedly of her surfaced. She reportedly lied to pageant officials and said the person in the photos wasn’t her.
Curran also failed to show up for community functions, TMZ reported.
The gossip website also reported that Curran is wanted for questioning in New York City, in connection with the theft of a $1,000 Louis Vuitton purse from another woman at the Plaza hotel.
Previous incidents at the residence include a home-invasion robbery and multiple complaints about Brown and his friends riding all-terrain vehicles up and down the street.
Brown, a native of Virginia, rose to fame as a teenage heartthrob but became one of R&B’s more notorious bad boys following the 2009 attack on his then-girlfriend Rihanna. He spent six years on probation after pleading guilty to the attack, and his probation was lifted in March 2015.
The singer completed about 1,000 hours of community service. He was also ordered to attend anti-domestic-violence classes.
In recent years, he has also faced charges in connection with driving without a license and accusations of a hit and run. He admitted in May 2014 to violating his probation after assaulting a person outside a Washington, D.C., hotel.
Brown’s former manager, Michael Guirguis, known as “Mike G,” filed a lawsuit in June that alleged the singer attacked him. The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, contends the singer punched Guirguis four times in the face and neck during a May 10 incident.
The complaint states: “The assault was unprovoked and, regrettably, just another attack in Brown’s long history of violent and abusive behavior.”
Staff writer Brittny Mejia contributed to this report.
10:15 a.m.: This article was updated with details about Curran.
9:30 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from a spokesman for the Miss California Regional pageant.
7:35 a.m.: This article was updated with comments from Dmitry Gorin.
Aug. 31, 12:55 a.m.: This article was updated with Brown’s release.
9:45 p.m.: This article was updated throughout with additional details.
5:10 p.m.: This article was updated with details on Brown being taken into police custody.
4 p.m.: This article was updated with details from the alleged victim.
1:25 p.m.: This article has been updated with additional details about police searching people at Brown’s home.
1:13 p.m.: This article has been updated with police entering Brown’s home.
12:20 p.m.: This article has been updated with information about the search warrant and additional background.
11:20 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional details.
10:05 a.m.: This article has been updated with Brown’s social media posts.
9:15 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional developments.
8:39 a.m.: This article has been updated with additional details.
This article was originally published at 8:10 a.m. Aug. 30.