Paparazzo in Justin Bieber car chase charged
Thu, 26 Jul 2012 10:30a.m.
A paparazzo Justin Bieber accused of harassment following a recent high-speed car chase in Los Angeles has been charged with multiple counts of reckless driving.
The ‘Baby’ hitmaker was ticketed for speeding on 6 July after he was caught travelling at more than 128.7 kilometres per hour in his luxury Fisker Karma sports car, while trying to shake off a pack of snappers who had been tailing him on the 101 Freeway.
Bieber singled out Paul Raef as the alleged leader of the crowd and subsequently filed a police complaint against the freelance photographer, who had reportedly fled the scene of the crime, despite cops' attempts to flag him down.
Authorities launched an investigation into the incident and on Wednesday the Los Angeles City Attorney hit the suspect with four charges under a new paparazzi law, which makes it a crime to create a dangerous situation while in pursuit of a celebrity for profit, reports TMZ.com.
Raef is facing two counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain, one regular charge of reckless driving and one of failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer.
If convicted, the snapper could be jailed for up to a year and be fined a total of US$3,500.
Raef, who is the first to be prosecuted under the 2010 law, is due in court on 9 August.
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