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Dicing Bieber busted in street race

2014-01-24 07:39

POP STAR IN TROUBLE: Pop star Justin Bieber who was charged with drunken driving, resisting arrest and driving without a licence after Miami Beach. Image: AP

Paula Bustamante

MIAMI, Florida - Pop star Justin Bieber was charged with driving under the influence after police caught him drag racing in Miami Beach, Florida on January 24. It’s alleged that he was drinking and smoking marijuana.

From rows in Australia and Brazil over graffiti to the search of his California home in January 2014, his arrest in Miami was the latest in a string of problems that have tarnished the image of the 19-year-old Canadian singer.

VIDEO: Justin Bieber arrested
Police said Bieber was racing a rented yellow Lamborghini on a residential street when he was arrested shortly after 4am.


Miami Beach police chief Raymond Martinez told reporters that Bieber was incoherent at the time of his arrest and unable to produce his driver's licence.

Bieber appeared in a Florida courtroom several hours later wearing an orange prison jumpsuit. A judge ordered him held on the equivalent of R27 000 bail. He left jail a short time later, waving to fans while sitting on his SUV.

Beyond the DUI charge, he also faces charges of resisting arrest and driving with an expired licence.

Police released two mug shots of Bieber as well as footage of the arrest.

A police report revealed that the teenager failed a sobriety test. An "odour of alcohol" was detected on Bieber's breath, he had "bloodshot eyes" and made "slow deliberate movements," the report said.

Authorities said he also was unco-operative and verbally abusive during his arrest, hurling obscenities at police, and initially refusing to get out of his vehicle.

News reports said Bieber admitted to police that he had consumed alcohol, taken prescription medications and smoked marijuana.


Bieber's PR people told AFP they had no comment.

Miami Beach police said they also arrested Bieber's friend, rapper Khalil Amir Sharieff, and charged him with driving under the influence. Sharieff, reportedly, had been driving a red Ferrari while racing against Bieber's yellow Lamborghini.

Sharieff posted on his Instagram account, under the handle Khalil, shortly before being taken into custody:  "Miami nights ridin thru yo city in that hot wheel."
Miami Beach police spokeswoman Vivian Hernandez told AFP that at the time of his arrest Bieber was with "a young lady" whose identity she declined to reveal.

Bieber over the last few days had kept a high profile while visiting South Florida. News reports said he shelled out tens of thousands of dollars at the local King of Diamonds strip club on January 20 2014.

Police at first were hard-pressed to halt Bieber, given the speed at which he was traveling.

Martinez said: "When cars are going that fast, it takes a while to catch up."

The police report said that he was traveling at close to 100km/h, about twice the posted speed on the residential street.

The pop star's crew reportedly blocked off the road with their SUVs to create an improvised drag strip.

The drag racing incident is just the latest in a series of recent negative headlines for Bieber, who has sold more than 12-million albums since emerging on the music scene in 2009 as a schoolboy sensation.


A week earlier police searched Bieber's Los Angeles mansion after an egg-throwing attack, seized illegal drugs, and arrested one of the singer's associates. The teen idol was accused of causing thousands of dollars in damage to a neighbour's house after pelting it with eggs.

He also attracted criticism on a recent tour of Australia after allegedly spraying graffiti on a hotel wall.

A tour of South America in 2013 ran into turbulence with allegations that he tagged the wall of a Rio de Janeiro hotel and failed to pay a bill in a Buenos Aires night club.

Bieber caused offence yet again by stepping on an Argentine flag thrown on to a stage during a concert. And he was evicted from a luxury hotel in Buenos Aires after a room was damaged.

Over the December 2013, Bieber said on Twitter that he was "officially retiring".

News of Bieber's latest brush with notoriety was greeted with concern in Hollywood.

Talk show host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: "It's hard to hear all this news about @JustinBieber. I hope he makes his way to adulthood without him or anyone else getting hurt."

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