Justin Bieber paparazzi facing charges in freeway car chase
The paparazzi who was the alleged mastermind in the wild, high-speed car chase of Justin Bieber in a freeway in Los Angeles has been reportedly slapped with several criminal charges.
According to Los Angeles City Attorney, Paul Raef, a 30-year-old freelance paparazzi, has been hit with a total of four counts stemming from the July 6 car chase incident that involved teen pop star, Justin Bieber. Paparazzi Raef faces the following charges:
– two counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain
– one count of reckless driving
–one count of failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer.
This is said to be the first case that has been filed under the new paparazzi law, which makes it a crime to generate a dangerous situation while following a famous celebrity for purposes of profit.
As previous reports have stated, Justin Bieber was cited by the California Highway Patrol for driving 80 mph using his fancy car, a chrome Fisker Karma. The “Never Say Never” singer told the police officers that he was just trying to escape from a group of paparazzi who had been chasing him relentlessly for miles.
Officials said that Paul Raef was among the gang of paparazzi giving the car chase, and was behind the wheels of his Toyota Rav at speeds “well in excess of 80 miles per hour across all lanes and even, at times, on the shoulder.”
Police officials also added that other motorists who were also on the freeway during the car chase incident were forced to use their brakes and swerve out of the the way in an attempt to avoid colliding with the vehicles. The authorities said that police officers were able to catch up with Justin Bieber and Paul Raef during the wild car chase and subsequently tried to pull them over. However, the paparazzi allegedly blew off the lights and sirens and fled the scene.
30 minutes after, officials said that the cops noticed the vehicle of Paul Raef at another paparazzi crush, and was able to identify him as the man from the previous car chase of Justin Bieber.
In case Paul Raef is convicted on all counts, he could face up to one year in the county jail and pay fines totaling to $3,500.