Justin Bieber Charged with Drunk Driving, Drag Racing in Florida

Thursday, 23 Jan 2014 12:45 PM

 

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Teen pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in South Florida early on Thursday on a drunken driving charge after he was caught drag racing on a main thoroughfare in a rented yellow Lamborghini, police said.

In his latest off-stage incident to grab headlines, Bieber initially resisted arrest, cursed at police officers and later told them he had consumed alcohol, pot and prescription drugs, police said.

Officers observed Bieber's Lamborghini beside another driver in a red Ferrari accelerate at high speed from a stop position on a four-lane road in a residential area just a few blocks from the South Beach tourist district, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told reporters.

Two SUVs had blocked the road so the 19-year-old "Boyfriend" singer could race a friend who was driving the rented red sports car, police said.

Bieber, who was driving 55 to 60 miles per hour (88 to 96 km per hour) in a 30-mile-per-hour (48 kph) zone, was also charged with resisting arrest without violence and driving on an expired Georgia license, Miami Beach police spokeswoman Vivian Hernandez said.

The Canadian star was "a little belligerent, using some choice words," when arrested, Martinez said, but grew cooperative once at the police station. His mug shot shows him smiling.

In the arrest report, an officer said Bieber had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on his breath. The singer told police he was returning from a studio recording session and repeatedly asked why he had been stopped and arrested.

"Why did you stop me?" he asked, according to the report. "Why do you have to search me?"

Bieber later acknowledged that he had taken prescription medicine, had been smoking marijuana and had consumed alcohol, Martinez said.

Representatives for the singer were unavailable for comment. Bieber is due in court for a bail hearing at 1 p.m. ET.

His friend, identified as R&B singer Khalil Sharieff, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence, Hernandez said.

The police department in the Florida city of Opa-locka is investigating whether two of its officers gave Bieber an unauthorized escort on Monday night after his private jet landed at the local airport, said city spokesman David Chiverton.

He confirmed the city also was looking into whether officers escorted Bieber to the King of Diamonds strip club in Miami Gardens.

"We're investigating whether our police department escorted him there," said Chiverton. "You can have fun in Miami, but not too much fun."

Bieber's erratic behavior has at times overshadowed his music career in the last year as the singer who shot to fame at age 15 transitions to adulthood.

Earlier this month, detectives in California raided Bieber's home after he was accused of pelting a neighbor's house with eggs.

Celebrities quickly weighed in on Twitter about Bieber's latest run-in with police.

"Doesn't Hollywood have any original ideas?" comedic actor Michael Ian Black wrote. "I've seen this Bieber movie so many times."

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

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