Camera-toting journalists and U.S. marshals seemed to outnumber the fans who came out to D.C. Superior Court to see Chris Brown during his hearing Wednesday on a misdemeanor charge stemming from a fight at the W Hotel last year.
The marshals aggressively shoved reporters trying to get footage of the R&B star on his way into the courthouse, while a handful of fans cheered.
“I came out to support him and let him know that we’re with him,” said Tiffany Crews, a D.C. resident who had donned three jackets in preparation for the cold. “He’s a good man.”
Another Washington resident who identified himself as Shack NdPack called Brown “a genius” and said he’d come to show solidarity. Asked about singer’s bad behavior — he was convicted in 2009 of a felony domestic violence conviction relating to his 2009 attack on his ex, Rihanna — NdPack said “he’s got to work on that.”
But many of those gawking at the scene had stumbled on it unexpectedly. Theresa Miles was on her lunch break from jury duty and thought she’d snap a photo to show friends. “I’m not really a Chris Brown fan, but I thought I’d see if I could get a picture,” she said. “I’m just doing my civic duty.”
About an hour later, Brown emerged from the courthouse, again surrounded by security, to a slightly larger crowd. But those who missed the chance to see the star (in a dark, tailored three-piece suit) will get another chance — he’ll be back for a trial, having rejected a plea deal. (UPDATE: the plea deal wasn’t much of a deal, our colleague Keith Alexander is reporting, since they simply re-offered the same charges: misdemeanor simple assault.)
On the way out, Brown offered a wave to the crowd as security swarmed.
And what a parting gesture it almost was: Brown’s black SUV nearly hit a woman in a wheelchair as it sped away from the curb.