EXCLUSIVE: Misdemeanor Against Antonio Brown Dismissed After Alleged Victim Recants Allegation

NFL: Super Bowl LVI-Los Angeles Rams at Cincinnati Bengals
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

A Florida State Attorney has decided to dismiss a misdemeanor battery charge against former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Antonio Brown after it formed the basis for an arrest warrant that remained outstanding for nearly three weeks. The decision came after the alleged victim recanted her allegation on December 16th, more than two weeks after the incident.

Tampa police made several attempts to arrest Brown, starting on December 1st when the warrant was issued, even reportedly standing outside his home with a megaphone asking him to open the door, according to the local ABC affiliate. However, police say Brown remained inside his home, ignoring their attempts to get him to peacefully surrender for more than a week. Police claimed they could not enter the private residence and arrest Brown because they did not have a search warrant.

The misdemeanor charge for battery arose after an alleged domestic incident on November 28th with a woman who is reportedly the mother of some of Brown’s children. The woman was allegedly kicked out of Brown’s Tampa residence, police wrote in a report. Police claim Brown served her with a handwritten eviction notice and claim that he allegedly threw a shoe at her ponytail.

The woman reportedly told police that Brown allegedly threatened to kill her if she tried to reenter the residence, according to the police report.

The State Attorney’s office tells League of Justice that it was considering upgrading the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony charge because Brown had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor battery in another county.

“The SAO’s investigation in the days following the initial incident determined that Mr. Brown’s prior guilty plea to a charge of misdemeanor battery in another county created the potential to upgrade the charge from the November 28, 2022, incident to a felony.  Florida Statute 784.03 provides for enhanced charges when a suspect has a prior battery conviction.”

The Tampa police conducted an extensive investigation following the November 28th incident and the State Attorney’s Office said probable cause existed to file the charge and obtain the arrest warrant against Brown.

“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 office said.

When the office brought the alleged victim in to give a sworn statement under oath, she allegedly recanted her allegations that Brown intended to strike or hurt her.

“After the alleged victim was sworn-in she recanted her previous allegations regarding Mr. Brown’s intent to strike her or cause her bodily harm.  The SAO analyzed this new information along with the body worn camera video recorded at the scene, the Child Protective Services investigation, and the denial of a law enforcement’s Temporary Risk Protection Order and determined we could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt a battery took place.”

Law enforcement had been unable to get a judge to sign off on a Temporary Risk Protection Order, immediately after the incident, to restrict Brown’s access to firearms after the woman allegedly told police that he had at least two firearms in the house. It is unclear if they are legally owned by Brown.

On Tuesday, the State Attorney for Hillsborough County filed a notice of termination of prosecution saying Brown need not appear for any further proceedings. The filing also informs Brown he has the authority to notify the Sheriff’s Office that the bond may be released if bond has been posted, according to Fox13’s Josh Cascio.

Tampa police tell League of Justice that Brown was never arrested and never turned himself in. The formerly outstanding arrest warrant is no longer active and the charge is dismissed.

The Tampa Police Department issued the following statement:

“The Tampa Police Department stands firmly in its decision to thoroughly investigate this case, taking the following steps to assist the victim of the alleged abuse:

– Multiple hours of on-scene interviews with the victim, gathering information related to the alleged domestic violence and identifying probable cause to charge Mr. Brown accordingly

– Contacting Child Protective Investigations (CPI) for the safety and well-being of the children involved, due to the children being present at the time of the incident and inappropriate communication between Mr. Brown and one of the juveniles

– Applied for a temporary risk protection order (RPO) for the safety of the victim due to comments she made regarding Mr. Brown’s mental state and his possession of guns (RPO was later denied by a judge)

– Offered the victim services to the Spring of Tampa Bay, a shelter for domestic violence victims, allowing her and Mr. Brown to separate for the evening (the victim immediately refused services and instead made accommodations to reside at another location)

– Pursued and granted a warrant for Mr. Brown’s arrest, repeatedly making attempts to arrest Mr. Brown at his home and arrange for Mr. Brown to turn himself in through his attorney.”

It is unclear if Brown is still inside his home and whether or not he has left over the past three weeks since the warrant was initially issued.

For more on the incidents leading up to this event, read Here.