FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP)NFL free agent Antonio Brown pleaded no contest Friday to charges related to a fight with a moving truck driver outside his South Florida home earlier this year.
As part of a deal with Broward County prosecutors, Brown pleaded no contest to burglary with battery, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and criminal mischief. He will serve two years of probation, undergo a psychological evaluation and follow-up treatment, attend an anger management course, perform 100 hours of community service and follow a stay-away order from the truck driver and the moving company owner.
Judge Edward Merrigan Jr. withheld adjudication, meaning Brown won’t receive a criminal conviction on his record if he successfully completes his probation.
Brown’s attorney, Carson Hancock, said in a statement that the case resulted from a misunderstanding between Brown and the moving company about payments and should have been handled as a civil dispute.
”Rather than engage in a protracted legal case, Mr. Brown decided to resolve this matter in an expeditious manner in consideration of his family and his football career,” Hancock said.
Brown was one of the NFL’s top wide receivers during his nine seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders last year but released before ever playing a regular season game following several off-the-field incidents. He was then signed by the New England Patriots, who released Brown in September after a second woman in 10 days accused him of sexual misconduct.
Police responded Jan. 21 to a disturbance call at Brown’s Hollywood, Florida, home, where the moving truck driver said Brown and his trainer hit him.
Brown had refused to pay $4,000 to the driver to release his household goods, according to police. The driver told officers that Brown threw a rock as he drove away, causing a small dent on the moving truck and chipping the paint.
When the driver returned later, Brown paid the $4,000 but refused to pay $860 for damaging the truck, police said. The driver returned to his truck to call his company, and Brown pulled him out of the vehicle, while the trainer grabbed the keys, officials said. Brown, the trainer and others began removing boxes from the truck, until the driver told them the boxes belonged to another client.
Brown had left the scene by the time police arrived, and the trainer was taken into custody. Brown turned himself in two days later.