Justin Bieber charged with assault of Toronto limo driver

Pop star to appear in court on 10 March over allegations

Pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with assault for allegedly hitting a Toronto limousine driver several times in the back of the head in January, just hours after his attorney entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drink-driving and other charges.

The 19-year-old singer handed himself in to a Toronto police station Wednesday evening, arriving amid a scrum of media and screaming fans waiting outside. He was charged with one count of assault and is due to appear in court in Toronto on 10 March.

He spent about an hour and a half in the police station before leaving through a back exit.

Justin Bieber turns himself in to police station over assault charge in Toronto 

Police allege Mr Bieber was one of six people who were picked up by a limousine from a nightclub in the early morning hours of 30 December when an altercation occurred between one of the passengers and the driver.

During the altercation one of the passengers hit the limo driver in the back of the head several times, police said.

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

 

Mr Weitzman said he expects the case to be treated as a summary offense, which is the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States. In a statement, he said: “The Toronto Police Service requested that Justin Bieber appear in Toronto today to face an allegation of assault relating to an incident on 29 December, 2013. We anticipate that this matter will be treated as a summary offense."

In late December Toronto police were examining allegations that a member of Mr 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 he was involved.

Earlier on Wednesday, Bieber pleaded not guilty in Florida to charges of driving under the influence after driving nearly twice the speed limit on a Miami Beach street. He also pleaded not guilty to resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. The alleged assault took place in the early hours of 30 December outside a night club The alleged assault took place in the early hours of 30 December outside a night club

Court records show that Mr Bieber's attorney filed a written plea in Miami-Dade County. Mr Bieber already has an arraignment set for 14 February, but he is not required to be present under Florida.

Mr Bieber and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested last week in Miami Beach during what police described as an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing, which is a crime in Florida.

Justin Bieber arrest: DUI and drag racing charges dropped in drastic U-turn

Mr Bieber also remains under investigation for felony vandalism in Los Angeles County over an egg-tossing episode that damaged his neighbor's home. Detectives searched his home on 14 January and prosecutors have sought additional information before determining whether to pursue charges.

Justin Bieber's friend Lil Za arrested over suspected drugs at singer's mansion after police raid following egging incident

Last year, Bieber made headlines for everything from clashing with a paparazzo to being photographed apparently smoking marijuana. The paparazzo is suing him for assault and battery.

He was also charged thousands of dollars by German authorities after he abandoned a pet monkey that they seized from him for failing to have proper vaccination papers.

Recently a petition to remove the “dangerous, reckless, destructive” young Canadian reached 100,000, which means it must be reviewed by the White House.

Justin Bieber deportation petition reaches 100,000 signatures: White House to issue official statement

The singer debuted a music video for his song “Confident” on Wednesday afternoon, just as news of his expected arrest was breaking.

Mr Bieber was discovered through a YouTube video of him performing, and his career has been guided by a pair of music industry heavyweights, singer Usher and manager Scooter Braun.

Mr Braun tweeted on Wednesday evening: “I ask people to be kind and hope for the best in people. not assume the worst. Thanks.”

 

Additional reporting by Associated Press


 Watch Justin Bieber's new music video for Confident

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Office Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: Have you been doing a brilliant job in an admi...

Surrey County Council: Senior Project Officer (Fixed Term to Feb 2019)

£26,498 - £31,556: Surrey County Council: We are looking for an outgoing, conf...

Recruitment Genius: Interim Head of HR

£50000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you an innovative, senior H...

Recruitment Genius: Human Resources and Payroll Administrator

£20000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client, a very well respect...

Day In a Page

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003