No Hit-and-Run Charges for Justin Bieber
Police have not charged teen singing star Justin Bieber with a hit and run after a pedestrian paparazzo was injured when Bieber pulled his Ferrari out of a parking space in Los Angeles late Monday night, according to news reports.
TMZ, which has a video of the incident (see below), writes that Bieber was leaving the Laugh Factory on Sunset Boulevard at around 11:45 p.m. with his friend rapper Lil Twist, as a swarm of paparrazzi surrounded the car to take pictures of them. Bieber began driving away as he motioned for the photographers to move out of the way, and reportedly pinned one photographer between the Ferrai and another car by accident, HuffPost Celebrity writes.
Bieber did not stop, and police were called to the scene. The photographer, whose name has not been released, was taken to the hospital with a leg injury, SFGate reports.
HuffPost writes that “X17 Online got their hands on photos of Bieber from the scene of the alleged accident, in which he looks like he is ducking his head away from the cameras.”
LAPD launched an investigation and interviewed Justin a few hours after the incident [...] and he told cops he didn’t know he hit the photographer (not a TMZ employee).
Police say the photog was not seriously hurt, but was at fault because he was a pedestrian in the roadway.
“It was not a hit-and-run,” Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Bruce Borihanh told Reuters on Tuesday. He said the investigation is ongoing.
Bieber was recently under investigation for reckless driving in his Calabasas, California, neighborhood after neighbors complained that he was speeding through the community in his Ferrari, but Bieber has refused to be questioned by police about that, HuffPost writes. He could face a misdemeanor reckless driving charge on that matter when police hand the investigation to local prosecutors in the next several weeks, HuffPost writes.
As this blog reported on January 3, a 29-year-old pedestrian paparazzo was hit and killed by a car in January when he crossed the road to take pictures of Bieber’s Ferrari. Bieber was not in his car at the time, which was being driven by his friend Lil Twist.
At that time, Bieber made the following statement, as quoted by CNN:
‘While I was not present nor directly involved with this tragic accident, my thoughts and prayers are with the family of the victim,’ Bieber said in a statement.
‘Hopefully this tragedy will finally inspire meaningful legislation and whatever other necessary steps to protect the lives and safety of celebrities, police officers, innocent public bystanders, and the photographers themselves.’
Here is TMZ’s video footage of Tuesday night’s incident: