LOS ANGELES — After years of his own legal troubles, Chris Brown finds himself as an apparent victim — after armed intruders burst into his Southern California home and locked his aunt in a closet, police said.
The chart-topping, award-winning singer wasn’t at his home in Tarzana, a neighborhood of Los Angeles, when authorities got a call about what happened around 2 a.m. (5 a.m. ET) Wednesday, according to L.A. Police Department Officer R. Alvarez.
But Brown’s aunt was there. After hearing a commotion outside, she opened the door to find three males with handguns, Alvarez said.
The armed men forced their way into the house and locked his aunt in a closet. The intruders eventually fled in an unknown vehicle toward an unknown direction, according to the LAPD officer.
Police did not immediately say what, if anything, was taken from Brown’s house, whether his aunt had been harmed or whether others had been in the house with her.
The incident marks the second time that authorities got involved because of an intruder in Brown’s house.
This spring, the singer came home to find a woman who, he alleged on Instagram, had broken hinges off doors, cooked several meals, written “I love you” on walls, painted her name on his cars and thrown out his daughter’s clothing.
Amira Kodcia Ayeb, 21, pleaded not guilty in May to felony counts of first-degree residential burglary, stalking and vandalism.
Brown has been no stranger to the courts, though more often as someone accused of bad behavior than as a victim.
A few months after Billboard named him “Artist of the Year,” he assaulted his then-girlfriend Rihanna — another popular singer — inside a rented Lamborghini on the eve of the Grammy Awards in February 2009. He pleaded guilty that June to one felony assault count, after which he was put on probation for five years, ordered to serve 180 days of labor-oriented service and made to take a yearlong domestic violence class.
He made a public apology, but didn’t stay out of trouble — including a 2012 altercation with the rapper Drake inside a New York club, an assault and battery claim from another nightclub, a hit-and-run charge and an arrest for felony assault tied to an incident outside a W Hotel in Washington.
Those incidents added up, along with a positive marijuana test and prosecutors’ claim that Brown didn’t finish his court-mandated community labor. He entered rehab in 2013 to “gain insight into his past and recent behavior,” his representative said, only to get kicked out of the facility for smashing his mother’s car window during a family session, according to his probation officer.
Brown entered another rehab facility, only to leave in 2014. He was then taken into custody by L.A. County sheriff’s deputies after a judge revoked his probation. He was released from jail in June 2014.
The singer’s psychiatrist said two months later that Brown was “working on his personal growth” and “is taking responsibility for his behaviors.”
“Mr. Brown has made significant strides in maintaining his sobriety, as well as developing skills that promote personal growth,” the doctor, who was not named, wrote in a report.