independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Bieber's legal woes pile up as star is charged with assault

Justin Bieber is swarmed by media and police officers as he turns himself in to city police for an expected assault charge, in Toronto. A police official said the charge has to do with an alleged assault on a limo driver in December. AP
Justin Bieber is swarmed by media and police officers as he turns himself in to city police for an expected assault charge, in Toronto. A police official said the charge has to do with an alleged assault on a limo driver in December. AP

Justin Bieber was charged with assault for allegedly hitting a Toronto limousine driver several times in the back of the head last month, just hours after his lawyer entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drunken-driving and other charges.

The baby-faced 19-year-old turned himself in to a Toronto police station Wednesday evening, arriving amid a crush of media and screaming fans. He was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on March 10.

Police allege Bieber was one of six people who were picked up by a limousine from a nightclub in the early morning hours of December 30, and there was an altercation while en route to a hotel.

Police said during the altercation one of the passengers hit the limo driver in the back of the head several times. "The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police," a statement said. "The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived."

Howard Weitzman, Bieber's attorney in California, said his client is innocent and declined to comment on the allegations against Bieber or any potential defence, saying it was now a matter for the court to handle.

Toronto police said in late December they were looking into allegations that a member of Bieber's entourage assaulted a limo driver who was ferrying the Canadian pop star and several others.

Police said at the time it was unclear whether Bieber was involved.

Bieber emerged from a black SUV wearing a winter coat and a backwards cap before being led through a throng of police and reporters.

Many waited for his arrival for more than an hour in freezing temperatures. He spent about an hour-and-a-half in the police station before leaving through a back exit.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bieber pleaded not guilty in Florida to charges of driving under the influence.

He also pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and driving with an expired licence. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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