By FREIDA FRISARO Associated Press
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — No charges will be filed against former NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown following an apparent domestic incident at a Tampa, Florida, home in late November, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Investigators completed a review of all available evidence and decided to drop the misdemeanor battery charges, the Hillsborough County State Attorney’s Office said in a statement. A warrant for Brown’s arrest has also been recalled.
Tampa police enlisted the state attorney’s office’s assistance to determine whether there was probable cause to arrest Brown, 34, after a verbal altercation on Nov. 28. A police report said Brown threw a shoe at a woman, attempted to evict her from the home and locked her out.
“Based on the facts and circumstances known to both agencies from extensive on-scene interviews by law enforcement of the alleged victim, it was determined that probable cause existed to issue an arrest warrant on one count of misdemeanor first degree battery,” the state attorney’s statement said.
Investigators sought an in-person statement under oath from the woman prior to making a final charging decision, which included the possibility of upgrading the charge to a felony. But during a Dec. 16 interview, the victim recanted her previous allegations “regarding Mr. Brown’s intent to strike her or cause her bodily harm,” the statement said.
Investigators analyzed the new information provided by the victim, along with the body camera video from the scene, an investigation by Child Protective Services investigation and the denial of a temporary protection order. The state attorney’s office then “determined we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt a battery took place,” the statement said.
The agency said that cases involving domestic violence “are often difficult and involve conflicting evidence.”
Brown’s contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was terminated a few days after he tossed his equipment into the stands and left in the middle of a Jan. 2 game. Brown had said he was pressured to play injured, but then-Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said Brown was upset about not getting the ball enough.
Brown has a long history of troubled behavior on and off the field, including being accused by two women of sexual assault, one of whom said Brown raped her. In the 2021 season, he served a three-game suspension for misrepresenting his COVID-19 vaccination status.
He was also suspended for eight games in 2020 for multiple violations of the NFL’s personal conduct policy, after pleading no contest to burglary and criminal mischief charges related to a fight with a moving truck driver outside his South Florida home that year.
Brown started his career with the Steelers, and was named to the All-Pro team four times and selected for seven Pro Bowls during his nine seasons in Pittsburgh. He was later traded to the Raiders, but never played in a regular-season game because he was released following several off-field incidents. Then New England signed him, but released him a few weeks later after a second woman in 10 days accused him of sexual misconduct.