By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Grammy-winning R&B singer Chris Brown was named by Las Vegas police on Monday as a misdemeanor battery suspect, accusing him of punching a man with whom he was playing basketball during a pre-dawn altercation at the Palms Casino Resort.
             
Brown, who turns 26 on Tuesday, has been given the option of signing a misdemeanor citation or having the case submitted to the Clark County District Attorney's Office for possible prosecution.
             
Police said the beating victim reported the incident from the hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released, and that Brown had left the scene at the hotel by the time detectives arrived.  
             
Signing the citation is a promise to appear in court, not an admission of guilt, police said. Likewise, Brown would be summoned to court if the district attorney were to charge him.
             
Either way, a conviction carries a maximum penalty of a $1,000 (660 pounds) fine, according to police spokesman Larry Hadfield.
             
Neither Brown's attorney nor his publicist were immediately available for comment.
             
Brown's latest legal quandary comes about six weeks after a judge in Los Angeles ended his probation stemming from the performer's 2009 guilty plea to charges of assaulting his then-girlfriend, singer Rihanna, on the eve of the Grammy Awards.
             
Brown's probation was revoked in 2013 after he was accused of punching a man who was trying to get a picture of the singer in Washington, D.C. 
             
The following year, he was kicked out of a court-ordered rehab programmer in California for breaking the rules and was jailed on that breach of probation for nearly three months.
           
Brown, whose hits include "Turn Up the Music," first made his mark on the recording scene as a teenager and has managed to bounce back professionally despite several brushes with the law, winning a Grammy as best male R&B artist three years after beating up Rihanna.
             
Over the weekend, he headlined a late-night concert following a high-profile boxing match between Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao, launching the vocalist's live-performance residency at a Las Vegas nightclub.
              
(Editing by Eric Walsh)