TORONTO — Canadian pop phenom Justin Bieber on Wednesday night surrendered to police in Toronto in connection with an assault charge stemming from an incident that occurred on Dec. 29, 2013.
A media circus descended on 52 Division in downtown Toronto, as a police helicopter circled overhead.
Police say they were called late night on Dec. 29 to an incident involving a limo driver at the corner of Dundas Street West and University Avenue in Toronto.
Bieber was wearing a black winter jacket with fur trim, and had a backwards baseball cap on his head, when he emerged from the black SUV at around 7:30 p.m. Toronto time. As around ten police officers in yellow jackets tried frantically to clear a path for the pop star into the station, young fans clad in parkas to protect themselves against a bitterly-cold winter night shouted support to Bieber, a CTV News livestream showed.
A police official says the charge has to do with an alleged assault on a limo driver in December. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly.
Toronto police said in late December they were looking into allegations that a member of Bieber’s entourage assaulted a limo driver who was ferrying the Canadian pop star and several others. Police said at the time it was unclear whether Bieber was involved.
Bieber was expected to be charged with assault, given a citation to appear in court at a later date and be released without bail.
Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun on Wednesday night called for no rush to judgment, despite the pop singer’s second legal scrape in a week.
i ask people to be kind and hope for the best in people. not assume the worst. thanks
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) January 29, 2014
Howard Weitzman, Bieber’s lawyer, told the Associated Press that he expected any assault charge against his client to be treated as a low-level offense.
“The Toronto Police Service requested that Justin Bieber appear in Toronto today to face an allegation of assault relating to an incident on December 29, 2013. We anticipate that this matter will be treated as a summary offense, the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States,” he said in a statement.
“Our position is the Mr. Bieber is innocent.”
Meanwhile, in the U.S., the pop star faces charges of DUI, resisting arrest and driving with an expired license.
A Miami-Dade County judge on Tuesday set a Feb. 14 arraignment date for the 19-year-old pop star. In an arraignment, prosecutors formally file charges and a plea is entered, although a defendant’s lawyer can enter the plea in writing. Bieber might not be required to attend.
Bieber and R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff were arrested last week in Miami Beach during what police described as an illegal street drag race between a Lamborghini and a Ferrari. Neither has been charged with drag racing.
Police say Bieber admitted to smoking marijuana, drinking and taking a prescription medication.