All of the witnesses — at least 10 — and all of the travel miles, from South Beach to California, couldn’t net Miami-Dade prosecutors a conviction in the great Chris Brown phone-snatching caper.
The Grammy-winning singer won’t be charged with a crime after a woman claimed he snatched her cellphone when she tried to take his photo outside a Miami Beach club in February.
A closeout memo released Friday by the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office concludes there is no evidence that Brown intended to steal the phone or that he deleted the photo. One or the other is necessary for him to be charged with robbery by sudden snatching — the taking of property from a victim’s person with the intent to permanently or temporarily deprive the victim of the property. The charge is a felony.
Among the witnesses: rapper Tyga (Michael Stevenson), who had performed at the Cameo Theater on Washington Avenue that night; Karrueche Tran, Brown’s girlfriend at the time; and Christal Spann and childhood friend Kieshandrya Lawson, the two who filed the complaint against Brown.
Here’s what happened, according to records:
Spann and Lawson followed Brown and Tyga after the club performance, spotted their limos, went over and snapped pictures.
Spann told investigators she approached the passenger side of Brown’s Bentley with the intention of taking the star’s photo around 4 a.m. As her flash went off, Brown reached through the passenger window, grabbed her phone, said “B----, this will not run the website.”
The two friends pounded on the car’s windows as it took off.
Tyga, interviewed in Fort Lauderdale, told detectives he saw Brown snatch the phone from the woman’s hand, then toss it out of the limo from the opposite passenger side window. The phone was later picked up by security, according to the statement released Friday.
“The Miami Beach Police Department and my prosecutors have reviewed all of the evidence and taken the statements of numerous witnesses, many of whom were interviewed in California, and have determined we are not taking any type of criminal action regarding the incident,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.
“We have forwarded our findings to Los Angeles for the probation case review after conducting the same process that every criminal case in Miami-Dade County undergoes,” she continued, referencing probation Brown has to serve stemming from his 2009 assault of then-girlfriend Rihanna, while the two sat in a car in Hollywood after the 2009 Grammy Awards.
A felony charge against the 24-year-old might have triggered a violation of his probation.
Associated Press writer Curt Anderson contributed to this story.
Follow @HowardCohen on Twitter.