Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown is known for his playful touchdown celebrations, a real clown prince on the field to go with his considerable skills catching the football.
But Brown has a dark side, it seems, and that dark side could come back to haunt him.
Back in April, the NFL superstar flew into a rage, throwing furniture off the balcony of his 14th-floor apartment near Miami that almost landed on a 22-month-old toddler at street level below, according to a lawsuit filed by the child’s father, TMZ Sports reported Tuesday.
Ophir Sternberg, the father of the toddler, filed the lawsuit Aug. 16 in Miami-Dade County, claiming assault and intentional infliction of emotional distress as Brown’s actions were taken “without regard for human life.”
Considering the furniture involved included a heavy ottoman, two large vases — one of which shattered on impact with the ground — and other unspecified but doubtless heavy items, Sternberg may have a point.
The incident happened about 10:30 a.m. April 24 at the Mansions at Acqualina in Sunny Isles Beach, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported Tuesday.
Sternberg, founding partner and CEO of Lionheart Capital in Miami, said some of the items landed “a mere foot or two” from him and his son, who was “immediately terror stricken and ran away crying hysterically.”
The lawsuit says the toddler was “severely traumatized by the incident, crying for hours on end the day it occurred and was unable to sleep that night.”
Sternberg is seeking more than $15,000 in damages, the Tribune-Review reported.
“Mr. Brown’s out of control and inexcusable behavior could have killed my son,” he said in a statement. “His reckless tantrum displayed complete disregard for the safety of others. We intend to hold Mr. Brown accountable, to hopefully ensure that something like this never happens again.”
Brown, meanwhile, may have had plenty of good reasons to be angry.
According to an April 23 police report, Brown claims that on that day, he found out $80,000 in cash and a 9-millimeter pistol had been stolen from him, TMZ reported. The items were hidden in a tote bag in his closet.
Brown had been out of state for 11 days, the report said, and when he came back to discover the break-in, it seems he quite literally turned his apartment inside-out to look for the goods.
He was not arrested for his rampage, but he was evicted from the apartment complex.
Making matters a bit weirder, Brown called the police a day later, claiming his Rolls-Royce had been stolen. However, when officers arrived, Brown said simply, “I found the car,” and slammed the door in their faces.
Neither Brown nor his representatives have made any public statements on either the lawsuit or the April incident.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin was asked about the issue Tuesday during his weekly news conference, according to the Tribune-Review.
“I have no comment about that,” he said. “I know nothing about it.”
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