He called a well-respected, longtime Steelers beat reporter a “clown” and accused that reporter of “making shit up.” He threatened another reporter for writing an unflattering profile of him. He’s been openly grumpy. He’s blown off work. And that’s just the stuff that’s kept Antonio Brown’s name in the news in the last eight weeks.
Now, this: Brown is being sued by a man in (where else?) Florida for the infliction of emotional distress and assault. The suit accuses Brown of nearly killing and scaring the crap out of the man’s toddler son by throwing a bunch of shit out the window of his apartment that nearly struck the child. Brown had flown into a rage after returning home from an extended trip to discover that someone had robbed him of $80,000 and a handgun, and he accused building security of setting him up. Oh, and Brown also thought someone had stolen his black Rolls Royce, only to slam the door in the face of the cops who arrived at his apartment to take a report after he called 911 again the following day. That about covers it, I think.
The suit, filed in Miami-Dade County circuit court in August by a man named Ophir Sternberg, says that Sternberg’s 22-month-old son was walking with his grandfather near the pool area of a condo complex in Sunny Isles, Fla., on the morning of April 24, “when large objects started to fall from the building many floors above them and crash to the ground.” The items that came raining down included “two very large vases, estimated to be over three feet tall each, as well as a large, heavy ottoman and other pieces of furniture.” One vase shattered when it hit the ground, and “some of these items fell within two feet” of Sternberg’s son and the boy’s grandfather.
The toddler was “immediately terror-stricken” and has been “severely traumatized by the incident,” the suit alleges. Also, per the suit: “Since that day, [the boy] has exhibited symptoms of fear and anxiety, having night terrors every night and waking up numerous times in a panic and crying, when this never occurred prior to the incident.” Security investigated the incident and determined that the objects were thrown from a 14th-floor balcony by Brown, and the suit says surveillance footage shows some of the objects landing near the boy and his grandfather.
According to police records, it was Brown who phoned the cops that morning, the day after he initially called police at 1:35 p.m. on April 23 to report that he discovered $80,000 in cash was missing from a backpack/tote bag and a that handgun had been taken from a closet after he got back from an 11-day trip. He told the cops his apartment had been cleaned, his laundry done, and his clothes folded. Building security said they were reviewing their surveillance tapes, but they were able to determine that three members of the building’s cleaning staff had entered the apartment, and that security had given them access—perhaps with the assent of the condo owner’s assistant. Brown, who rented the unit, said he had given no one any permission or access to enter the premises while he was gone.
Three officers arrived after Brown phoned a police sergeant at 10:08 a.m. on April 24—right around the same time Sternberg’s suit accuses Brown of throwing the stuff that nearly hit his child. Brown, per a police report, “appeared very agitated and was yelling at security telling them he thinks they set him up.” More, per the police report:
Apparently when Mr. Brown got upset he started throwing things in the apartment and the coffee table glass was broken along with a few other minor objects. He also threw some objects from balcony into the pool area causing some minor damage there as well.
Once he calmed down, Brown told police he had two weeks remaining on his stay at the condo. The building’s owner told police he did not want to press charges, but that he would begin eviction proceedings against Brown. [Update: The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that Brown has also been sued by the condo’s landlord, Aqualina 1402 LLC, due to the damage he caused. The landlord seeks in excess of $15,000. Also, per the P-G, the NFL is monitoring the situation for possible discipline under the league’s personal conduct policy.]
At 9:33 a.m. the day after that (April 25), Brown called police again to report that his black Rolls Royce had been stolen. According to that incident report, two officers responded and arrived at Brown’s condo with three building security personnel. After Brown answered the door, he said, “I found the car,” and closed the door. The cops left, but three police officers went back to the condo a short time later and knocked, only to have no one answer. And that was that.
Sternberg’s suit against Brown seeks damages in excess of $15,000, plus interest, costs, and attorneys fees. You can read the suit and the relevant police reports below.