Bieber charged with assaulting limousine driver in Toronto
Sandie Benitah, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, January 29, 2014 5:41PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 29, 2014 10:10PM EST
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has been formally charged with assault after a Toronto limo driver told police he was struck several times on the back of his head.
Police say the limo driver got into a confrontation with one of six passengers in his vehicle when the alleged assault occurred in the early morning hours of Dec. 30.
Bieber surrendered to police Wednesday night, causing a frenzy outside Toronto police station 52 Division on Dundas Street.
The pop star pushed through a wild, large crowd of determined media and shrieking fans.
Bieber smiled to fans as dozens of police officers helped him through the crowd and remained inside the station for more than an hour before discreetly slipping out a back door.
Minutes after confirming that the singer had left the building, police released a statement confirming that the 19-year-old had been charged with assault.
Police said a limousine arrived at a downtown nightclub at around 2:50 a.m. on Dec. 30 to pick up the group. While driving the group to a hotel, an altercation took place between one of the passengers and the driver, police said.
Police have said in the past that they were investigating whether it was the teen idol himself or someone in Bieber’s entourage that was involved in the incident.
A lawyer for the singer told The Canadian Press that Bieber would be pleading not guilty to the charge.
His team sent out a statement which said the following:
"The Toronto Police Service requested that Justin Bieber appear in Toronto today to face an allegation of assault relating to an incident on (Dec. 30, 2013.) We anticipate that this matter will be treated as a summary offense, the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States.
"Our position is that Mr. Bieber is innocent," the statement continued to say. "As the matter is now before the court, it would be inappropriate to address the specifics of either the allegation or of our defense at this time."
Bieber, who hails from Stratford, Ont. but lives in Calabasas, Calif., has had his share of legal troubles this month.
On Jan. 23, Bieber was arrested in Miami and charged with driving under the influence, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license. He was released on US$2,500 bail and on Wednesday, filed a written plea of not guilty to all charges.
His arraignment is scheduled for Feb. 14 but he is not required to be present at the hearing. His lawyer told The Associated Press that a decision hasn't been made on whether or not Bieber will attend.
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