Shackles Aside, Chris Brown Can Breathe Easier in D.C.

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Chris Brown (Splash)

Chris Brown just got a break.

On Monday, an assault charge against the 24-year-old singer over a weekend brawl was reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor.

Brown and bodyguard Christopher Hollosy, 35, were jailed after scuffling with a man at about 4:25 a.m. Sunday outside Washington, D.C.'s W hotel.

The police report identified the victim as Isaac Adams Parker, 20, of Beltsville, Maryland. Parker is alleged to have encountered Brown while the star was in town for an appearance at Howard University's homecoming celebration. Parker told police that he tried to photo bomb a picture Brown was taking with a female fan. Brown responded to the interruption by saying, "I'm not down with that gay s--t" and "I feel like boxing," before punching Parker in the face. The assault, Parker said, was continued by Brown's body guard who joined in, punching him in the face again.

Brown spent the rest of the weekend in jail. He was released without bail Monday afternoon after entering a plea of not guilty. During the hearing, Brown was handcuffed and had his legs shackled.

His attorney, Danny Onorato, told reporters at the hearing that his client is innocent.

"Christopher Brown committed no crime," he said. "We understand that his security acted to protect Mr. Brown and his property, as he is authorized to do under District of Columbia law. We are confident that Mr. Brown will be exonerated of any wrongdoing."

Although the lesser charge is good news for Brown, he's not off scot-free. He's set to return to court on November 24 and has been ordered to contact his probation officer within 48 hours.

Brown of course has to be on his best behavior, as he remains on probation for the 2009 assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna. But his best behavior doesn't seem very good lately. Just this year, he had to complete additional hours of community service after officials charged he hadn't completed his initial sentence of 1,400 hours. The court also ordered Breezy to complete an additional 1,000 hours after he was accused of a hit-and-run. Los Angeles officials tell omg! they are monitoring the D.C. incident for a possible probation violation.

Late Monday, Brown thanked his fans over Twitter for their support.

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