Man charged with felony, accused of groping Redbirds employee at game

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Memphis Police have arrested a Munford man and charged him with a felony for allegedly groping a Redbirds employee at the Independence Day game.

Police said a team employee came to them and said a man had grabbed her backside without her consent.

Redbirds officials told WREG the suspect was a patron and it happened on the main concourse.

Authorities asked suspect Christopher Brewer, 32, about the incident.

They said he acknowledged touching the back of the woman’s thigh.

Police charged him with sexual battery.

“Women should be protected and everyone should keep their hands to themselves," said Henry James, who was attending Thursday night's game.

The affidavit suggested it was not the woman’s first encounter with Brewer.

Police wrote he told her, "I got you that time."

People we spoke with said incidents like this are treated differently today than in the past, and Brewer deserved the felony charge.

"In this day and age you’re better off safe than sorry so bad judgment by the guy," said Drake Smith of Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

"The last year or two there’s been a lot more awareness toward sexual harassment, especially toward women and inappropriate conduct," Emily McWilliams said.

Officials with the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center released a statement that read in part,  “Thanks to the #metoo movement, these victims now may feel less alone in their experiences and may feel more empowered and supported when they report to law enforcement or public officials.”

They added: "If it is safe for them to do so, we encourage victims to report all incidents of sexual violence to local law enforcement or to seek support and advocacy from the Shelby County Rape Crisis Center (901-222-4350)."

But even as reporting becomes more widespread, Ole Miss student Reagan Garland said there are potential downsides.

“I do know people who’ve been wrongly charged when they haven’t done anything and the girls just want attention," Garland said.

The Redbirds released the following statement to WREG:

Last night, a Memphis Redbirds staff member was the victim of an incident involving a patron on the main concourse of the stadium. The incident was immediately reported to a Memphis Police Department officer on-site, and the person was arrested a short time later. The safety of our employees and fans is of our utmost importance; we appreciate MPD’s swift handling of the incident.

Brewer is in jail with bond set at $2,500 and conditions including no contact with the victim.