By Stephen M. Silverman
December 10, 2003 01:30 AM

Fulton County, Ga., police on Tuesday were looking for singer Bobby Brown following an alleged weekend altercation with wife Whitney Houston that left her with a cut lip and a bruise on her cheek, according to published reports.

On Sunday, police responded to a call by Houston to the couple’s suburban Atlanta home at around 8:30 p.m. Houston reportedly told police that Brown struck her on the left side of her face with an open right hand, the Associated Press and Atlanta Journal-Constitution report.

“It was a verbal confrontation which escalated to a physical confrontation,” Kurtis Young, a police spokesman, tells the Journal-Constitution, though he would not provide details on the cause of the argument. The officer responding to the call witnessed bruises on Houston’s cheek and inside her upper lip.

Young said that by the time officers arrived at the home, Brown had left for the airport to catch a flight to California, reports AP. The Journal-Constitution quotes him as saying that his department has a phone number for Brown in California and a “general idea” of his location, and they will try to reach him for his side of the story.

Houston has not filed charges against Brown, said Young, adding that Houston need not file charges herself, because the case is now under investigation as an alleged domestic violence incident, says the Journal-Constitution.

Houston, 40, and Brown, 34, have a 10-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown. Bobby Brown has a history of legal and drug problems. In August he was fined for traffic and drug offenses only hours after an early release from jail.

Having served half of a 14-day sentence for violating probation from a previous drunken-driving conviction, Brown was then fined for possessing 28 grams of marijuana, speeding and driving with no license or proof of insurance.

In 2000, Brown served 26 days in a Florida jail for an earlier probation violation. In the same year he pleaded “no contest” to charges of assaulting a hotel security guard in West Hollywood.