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Justin Bieber may escape charges in neighbor-spitting complaint

April 01, 2013|By Richard Winton

Justin Bieber's chances of being charged with battery for allegedly spitting on and threatening a Calabasas neighbor are slim, authorities say.

Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives are investigating the complaint by the neighbor and will present their findings to the county district attorney's office.

But the detectives will not be recommending any specific charges, sheriff's officials said Monday.

"The department doesn't routinely recommend to prosecutors what to do. We will present the evidence," said Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.

A far more likely outcome in cases where physical violence has not occurred is a conflict-resolution meeting.

"There are times in neighbor disputes where conflict resolution is ordered," Whitmore said.

The neighbor told deputies that Bieber spat on him and threatened him after a harsh exchange of words over the pop star's behavior and that of his entourage. L.A. County sheriff's detectives are also examining whether Bieber or members of his entourage drove at excessive speeds through the Calabasas neighborhood, authorities said.

Bieber and his people have denied that the singer spat on the neighbor or threatened him.

Sheriff's deputies arrived on the block where Bieber lives in Calabasas at 9:08 a.m. last Tuesday to investigate the neighbor's allegations, Whitmore said.

The altercation began with an argument outside their homes on Prado del Grandioso, the neighbor alleged. But then it escalated, according to officials. Whitmore said the neighbor told authorities he was subjected to battery and threats by the singer.

Prosecutors declined to pursue criminal charges in connection with an altercation in May in Calabasas during which Bieber allegedly punched and kicked a photographer.

Sheriff's detectives investigated allegations that Bieber struck the photographer after he snapped pictures of the singer and his then-girlfriend, actress Selena Gomez, at the Commons at Calabasas Shopping Center.

But officials with the district attorney's office said no evidence, including videos and photographs, corroborated the allegations by the paparazzo, who was treated and released at a local hospital.

According to the narrative by prosecutors, the photographer was with other paparazzi taking pictures of the pop star and Gomez as they left a theater and walked to a parking lot.

Bieber allegedly kicked the photographer in the lower abdomen, "leading the suspect to lose his balance," prosecutors said.

When the photographer said Bieber's actions were unnecessary, the pop star allegedly punched him in the right side of the face. Bieber then got back in the van and drove "erratically in the parking lot" before leaving the shopping center, prosecutors said.


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