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Singer may suffer for car park brawl despite Ocean of peace

Monday, February 04, 2013

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Rising R&B star Frank Ocean will not press charges against singer Chris Brown, who he said had "jumped" him last week in a parking lot fracas.

But the encounter could still derail Brown's efforts to remain in compliance with his probation stemming from his 2009 assault against singer-actor Rihanna, his on-again, off-again girlfriend.

A spokesman for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department earlier said Ocean was "desirous of prosecution in this incident," which occurred on January 27 outside a recording studio in West Hollywood.

Representatives for Brown could not be reached for comment.

Sheriff's deputies had cited witnesses as saying the Grammy-winner punched Ocean, 25, in the brief altercation.

But Ocean posted a message on his website www.frankocean.com saying he wanted to move past the incident.

"I'll choose sanity," he wrote. "No criminal charges. No civil lawsuit. Forgiveness, albeit difficult, is wisdom. Peace, albeit trite, is what I want in my short life. Peace."

Brown and Ocean are both nominated in the best urban contemporary album category at the Grammy Awards to be announced on Sunday in Los Angeles.

On the day of the parking lot incident Ocean said on Twitter that he "got jumped by chris (sic) and a couple guys."

He also said he cut his finger and Brown was later photographed with a cast on his right hand.

Brown, whose hit songs include Look at Me Now and Run It! , was placed on probation for five years for the assault on Rihanna. He risks having his probation revoked if charges are filed against him.

But if the judge overseeing his case suspects Brown broke the law, he could move to find the 23-year-old in violation of probation even without a criminal charge.

So says Steve Cron, a defense attorney not connected to the case and an adjunct law professor at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.

"Then, Brown would be entitled to have a hearing with witnesses and his lawyers questioning witnesses and so forth," Cron said.

He said prosecutors still can file charges even if a suspected victim does not cooperate. If Brown is found to have violated his probation, a judge could send him to jail or order counseling.

The LA sheriff's spokesman said if Ocean does not want to press charges, it would be difficult to proceed with the case.

In June, Brown's entourage and that of Canadian rapper Drake were involved in a brawl in a New York nightclub. No arrests or charges were brought.

REUTERS


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