Chris Brown arrest imminent in Miami Beach robbery

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Prosecutors in Miami are continuing to investigate a woman’s claim that R&B singer Chris Brown stole her iPhone when she tried to take a picture of him.

In a story first reported by Gossip Extra, Jose Lambiet reported that Brown is facing a probable “robbery by sudden snatching” charge in Miami Beach after he allegedly snatched a fan’s iPhone outside the South Beach Cameo nightclub on February 19th.

According to a recently released offense incident report, Christal Shanne Spann was inside the Cameo nightclub when she spotted Brown and rapper Tyga exiting through a side door.  After Spann and her friends followed the pair outside, she took a photo of Brown in his Bentley with her white iPhone 4s.

Brown then rolled down the window, grabbed Spann’s iPhone, and yelled “Bitch, you ain’t going to put that on no website.”  He then allegedly rolled up his car window and drove away with the phone, worth about $500, Spann reported to police.

Five separate and independent witnesses confirmed Spann’s version of the robbery outside the popular South Beach nightclub.  “We’re waiting on the warrant,” said Miami Beach Police spokeswoman Deborah Doty. 

According to Gossip Extra, police and prosecutors are dragging their feet on an arrest of Brown.  So much so that a high ranking state attorney’s staff commented Wednesday, “Why didn’t the police grow a pair and arrest him when the complaint was drawn?”

On the record, prosecutors have indicated that the request for an arrest warrant required a complete reinvestigation of the case.

“Police have the power to make an arrest at the scene when they have probable cause,” said Ed Griffith, a spokesman for Miami-Dade State Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “But once they come to us, it brings a whole different approach. We’re re-interviewing every witness.

“This is not because Chris Brown’s famous. It’s about handling every case equitably.”

Robbery by sudden snatching is a third degree felony in Florida punishable by up to five years in state prison.  According to the Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation Department, a standard bond of $5,000 would be set upon Brown’s arrest. Absent a probation violation detainer, he would be released upon posting bond.

“The prosecution must prove that Chris Brown had the requisite or specific criminal intent to ‘permanently deprive’ Spann of her property,” said John Contini, a Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney and author of “Danger Road” the true story of three drug dealers who in 1983 were brutally murdered by a police officer in the Florida Everglades.  “This may be quite challenging since the defense will no doubt suggest that Brown was only trying to delete his image from the media card within the phone, an image that was in fact his property and not hers.”

Contacted by phone late Wednesday, Spann declined comment citing the ongoing criminal investigation.  Despite two phone messages left for Brown’s criminal defense attorney, Mark Geragos, he has not responded for comment.

According to Gossip Extra, Brown was freaked out because a female fan was taking photos of him walking to his car holding two groupies.  Rapper Tyga told detectives: “The guy’s trying to get back with Rihanna, and he knows that wouldn’t happen if the photos ended up online!”

Brown is currently serving five years felony probation in California for the vicious 2009 beating of his ex-girlfriend Rihanna.  On February 10th, his attorney Mark Geragos sought to end his probation citing “good behavior.”

While applauding his public service and good behavior, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge George Lomeli ruled that Brown would remain on probation reporting to an officer in his home state of Virginia.

Criminal charges in Miami may now send the popular R&B star to prison for up to four years simply on a violation of probation.

“Brown wouldn’t need to be convicted in the Miami-Dade case to have problems with his Los Angeles probation,” stated Jim Lewis, a former prosecutor and Fort Lauderdale criminal defense attorney most noted for his defense in the Lionel Tate case. “The conditions of his felony probation are extremely strict. Brown must obey all laws and not be arrested or accused of any other crimes.  Just an accusation of robbery could send him to prison in California.”


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