Francois Navarre

A paparazzi who follows the toxic singer Britney Spears filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles California on Wednesday against photo agency X17. The celebrity snapper alleged three of the company's photographers severely beat him following a chase in which he had gained the lead. Alison Silva told MTV News that on March 5, he had parked one block away from Spears' home when three X17 photographers — whom he identified as Thomas Madiana, Carlos Madiana and Max Rinadelle — allegedly approached him and said, "You should not be here. Only X17 gets these shots." Silva then claims that one of the photographers punched him and knocked him to the ground, then the three kicked him to the point where he was passed out. When he came to, he claims they were kicking him in the face. "I didn't know what was going on," he said. Three bystanders called 911, and Silva was rushed by ambulance to the emergency room with a police escort, according to the police report. One of the witnesses told police officers that he heard one of the attackers say, "Let's go f--- him up, there are 10 of us here," saw one of the attackers go get a metal tube from his car for that purpose, and heard another attacker say, "Don't kill him! Don't kill him!", according to the report. At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, California, Silva was treated for blunt head trauma and a broken nose, according to the medical report. Silva said his injuries temporarily rendered him unable to drive or operate a camera. "They kicked and punched me almost to death," Silva said. "I was beat up for doing my job. Most people think, 'Oh, he's just a paparazzo, he's nothing.' But this is not nothing. This is a big business, and if it weren't for people like me, those pictures wouldn't be in the magazines you enjoy." Silva asks for unspecified general and punitive damages in his suit, in which he accuses X17 of battery; assault; false imprisonment; intentional infliction of emotional distress; negligent infliction of emotional distress; negligence; and negligent training, supervision and retention of unfit employees. "They're going to say the claims are bogus," Silva's attorney, Joseph Farzam, told MTV News. "But my client has a claim. All it takes is for someone to take a look at the photos of his broken nose, blue eyes, bloody eyes, and you can see that he was injured. Someone has to be held responsible." Silva said that police told him the photographers who allegedly attacked him will turn themselves in to authorities on Monday, otherwise warrants will be issued for their arrest. The Los Angeles Police Department's investigating officer had not confirmed that information at press time; an LAPD representative would only confirm that a separate criminal investigation is ongoing. Reached for comment by MTV News, X17 co-owners Francois and Brandy Navarre initially declined comment because they have not been served with the suit, but when asked about the police matter, they said that the photographers are not employees, but freelancers, and therefore are not under contract. "I don't think the suit against us will hold up," Brandy said. "They give me their pictures but whatever they do on their own is their own business," Francois said. Silva also has a still-pending $25,000 complaint against Keanu Reeves, whom he sued for negligence in November, claiming the actor struck Silva with his vehicle in March 2007, according to court documents. Silva told MTV News he suffered a serious injury to his left wrist, for which he's had one surgery and was scheduled for a second surgery next week. Silva said he's postponing that surgery in light of recent events.