NFL player Antonio Brown released on bail by Florida judge
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – NFL free agent Antonio Brown was released on bail Friday after a night in a Florida jail, where he turned himself in to face charges that he and his trainer attacked the driver of a moving truck that carried some of his possessions from California.
Broward County Judge Corey Amanda Cawthon set a $110,000 bond and imposed conditions including surrendering his passport, wearing a GPS monitor, possessing no weapons or ammunition, and agreeing to a mental health evaluation and random drug testing.
Brown was released a few hours after the hearing, his lawyer said.
Brown, 31, had appeared via video in a green jail outfit, with his wrists shackled. He spoke only to answer the judge’s questions.
Prosecutors had sought no bail, pointing out that the wide receiver is a wealthy sports figure who is a risk of flight if released. They noted that police had been called to his Florida home 18 times since December, for various reasons.
But one of Brown’s lawyers, Eric Schwartzreich, said Brown deserved credit for surrendering voluntarily and had no incentive to flee.
“He could have clearly left. He’s not going to go anywhere,” Schwartzreich said. “He wanted to turn himself in.”
Brown was one of the NFL’s top wide receivers during his nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders last year but released before ever playing a regular season game following several off-the-field incidents. He was then signed by the New England Patriots, who released Brown in September after a second woman in 10 days accused him of sexual misconduct.
A Hollywood police statement said Brown’s arrest warrant included charges of burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief. Officials responded Tuesday afternoon to a disturbance call where the alleged victim said Brown and his trainer, Glenn Holt, hit him outside Brown’s Hollywood home.
Holt was arrested and charged with one count of burglary with battery, but officials couldn’t make contact with Brown at the time.
According to a police arrest report, the altercation began as an argument over Brown’s refusal to pay $4,000 to the driver to release his household goods. The driver called police and reported vandalism after he said Brown threw a rock as he drove away, causing a small dent and chipping the paint, an officer wrote.
The driver later returned when the manager of his company told him that Brown would now pay the $4,000, and an additional $860 for the damage and the driver’s time. Brown then paid the $4,000, but refused to pay the rest, so the driver returned to the van to call his company, and that’s when Brown “started another verbal argument,” police said.
“Brown stepped up into the cabin of the vehicle and started to physically grab and pull (the driver),” while Holt “entered the vehicle and grabbed the keys from the ignition,” police said. The driver tried to get the keys back and cut his hand in the process, according to the report.
Police say the driver suffered injuries including scratches on his neck, shoulder and arm, a cut on his finger and a scrape on his stomach.
Holt then used the keys to open the truck, while Brown “and other unidentified friends” began removing boxes. The boxes, however, belonged to another client, police said. When the driver told them so, Brown and the others “started tossing the items back into the truck causing damage to some of the property,” an officer wrote.
Hollywood police were called again, and when officers arrived, Brown “retreated inside of his residence and shut the door.”