Antonio Brown, the standout wide receiver whose NFL career has been put on hold by a series of off-field issues, was involved in a police investigation of an incident of alleged battery Tuesday in Hollywood, Florida.
A police spokesman said in a telephone interview on Tuesday night that an associate of Brown’s, believed to be his trainer, was taken into custody, arrested and charged with burglary with battery, a felony. Officers investigating the case attempted to speak to Brown, but he locked himself in his home and refused to speak to the officers, the spokesman said.
“Mr. Brown is part of our investigation,” Hollywood Police Department spokesman Christian Lata said.
Further information is expected to be available Wednesday, he added.
Brown was not immediately arrested or charged with a crime. ESPN reported that the driver of a moving truck seen outside Brown’s home accused Brown and his trainer of battery. The incident was first reported by TMZ. Police arrived at the house to investigate following a 911 call, according to multiple reports. Video shot at the scene showed the moving truck and police cars leaving Brown’s neighborhood.
The NFL, which is investigating Brown for previous allegations by two women of rape, sexual assault and sending threatening text messages, declined to comment through a spokesman. Brown has denied the accusations and has filed a counterclaim against one of the women. He already was facing a possible suspension without pay by the NFL under its personal conduct policy.
Brown played only one game this season before being released by the New England Patriots in September. Teams appeared wary of signing him after the league said following his release by the Patriots that it would consider putting him on paid leave via the commissioner’s exempt list if he were to be signed.
Brown met with NFL investigators, and those investigators recently had been attempting to speak to potential witnesses who might be able to corroborate what Brown told the NFL, according to a person with knowledge of the case. It is not clear when the NFL will complete its investigation and make a disciplinary ruling. The league’s investigation could be extended by Tuesday’s incident.
Brown’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, filed paperwork last week with the NFL Players Association to terminate his representation of Brown. That severing of the business relationship between Rosenhaus and Brown was not to become official until this week, following the five-day waiting period required by NFLPA rules. Rosenhaus reportedly wrote to the NFLPA that he was interested in continuing to work with Brown, but only if Brown sought help for his off-field issues.
The move by Rosenhaus came after an incident between Brown and Hollywood police earlier last week. The police department announced that its athletic league was returning a donation by Brown following a profanity-filled outburst, posted on social media, that Brown directed at police officers and the mother of his children outside his home.
Late last month, Brown had a workout with the New Orleans Saints but was not signed, leading him to characterize it as a publicity stunt.
He was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection with the Pittsburgh Steelers before being traded to the Oakland Raiders last offseason. He never played a regular season game for the Raiders and was released, at his request, before the season.
That came after Brown was fined by the Raiders after a practice-field verbal confrontation with General Manager Mike Mayock. Earlier, he missed time because of injuries to his feet suffered while undergoing cryotherapy treatments and because of two failed grievances against the NFL seeking to be permitted to wear a helmet not up to the safety standards of the league and NFLPA.
Brown was signed by the Patriots but released after one game. He is seeking, through grievances filed through the NFLPA, to force the Raiders and Patriots to pay him approximately $40 million in voided contract guarantees, unpaid salaries and fines.