Justin Bieber was pulled over towards the beginning of July for driving in excess of 80 MPH down the 101 Freeway in Los Angeles, California. According to authorities, the pop icon was attempting to elude a freelance photographer who was pursuing him at the time. For a while, it appeared police were hellbent on pinning all of the charges on Bieber, though their focus shifted a bit once more details began to bubble to the surface.
Paul Raef was the man in the other car. For chasing down Bieber and forcing the singer to drive recklessly through traffic, Raef could face up to a year in prison and a fine totaling $5,000. Here’s hoping he managed to make some money from the photographs he snapped, as he’s probably going to need it for legal counsel. Presently, the alleged paparazzo is scheduled to appear in court on August 9th. Can’t say that I feel sorry for him.
Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine is the guy who placed the 911 call, effectively alerting police about the situation. And while he fully understands and sympathizes with Bieber and his cohorts, he feels this is really no excuse for driving like a maniac
“Any time you do 90, the paparazzi are going to go 90,” Zine explained to the Los Angeles Times. “He was going from the fast lane to the slow lane to the shoulder in traffic. It was a very dangerous driving situation. I figured someone was going to crash, so I called 911.”
The L.A. county district attorney’s office isn’t messing around when it comes to this sort of behavior. The city recently passed some strict anti-paparazzi laws, and Paul Raef is the first lucky individual to be charged as a result. Although news organizations were quick to criticize the law, Assemblywoman Karen Bass doesn’t seem to care.
“Some artists fear there is going to be a terrible accident,” Bass said. “This is certainly no attempt to regulate the press.”