News

Justin Bieber leaves Florida jail after drunken driving arrest

Justin Bieber leaves Florida jail after drunken driving arrest

BIEBER IS BUSTED: The 19-year-old Canadian pop star faces multiple charges. Photo: Reuters

suv
The vehicle carrying teen pop star Justin Bieber departs from a Miami-Dade County jail in Miami, Florida Jan. 23. REUTERS/Andrew Innerarity

By Zachary Fagenson

MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) – Teen pop star Justin Bieber’s tumultuous life off-stage landed him in jail for the first time on Thursday when police arrested the singer for drunk driving after he was caught drag racing on a main Miami Beach street in a rented Lamborghini.

The 19-year-old Canadian initially resisted arrest, cursed at police officers and later told them he had consumed alcohol, pot and prescription drugs, police said. Then, changing his demeanor, he grew cooperative and even smiled for his mug shot, coiffed hair perfectly in place.

Dressed in a red prison suit, a silent Bieber heard the charges via video link: driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence and driving on an expired Georgia license.

A judge set bail at $2,500 and released the “Boyfriend” singer. If convicted, Bieber could face jail time of up to six months, although experts say he will likely get off with a lighter sentence for his first offense.

WATCH: Orange is the new Bieber – Justin’s first court appearance | OFFICIAL Justin Bieber arrest reenactment 

Bieber’s arrest is his most serious run-in with the law during a year in which his problems have ranged from allegations of speeding through his gated community near Los Angeles to a felony investigation into whether he pelted a neighbor’s house with eggs.

His once meteoric career has also showed signs of distress. A year ago, he became the youngest artist with five No. 1 albums, but in March he collapsed on a London stage and in December hinted he might be ready to retire after releasing a compilation album and a film about his life.

PHOTOS: Justin Bieber through the years | Celebrity mugshots

Just after 4 a.m. EST on Thursday, officers observed Bieber’s yellow Lamborghini alongside another driver in a red Ferrari accelerate from a stop position on a four-lane road in a residential area just a few blocks from the South Beach tourist district, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez said.

Two SUVs had blocked off the road so the singer could race a friend who was driving the rented Ferrari, police said.

Bieber was driving the sports car 55 to 60 miles per hour in a 30-mile-per-hour zone, Miami Beach police spokeswoman Vivian Hernandez said.

‘WHY DID YOU STOP ME?’

The singer was “a little belligerent, using some choice words,” when arrested, Martinez said, but he grew cooperative at the police station.

In the arrest report, an officer said Bieber had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on his breath. The singer told police he was returning from a studio recording session and repeatedly asked why he had been stopped and arrested.

“Why did you stop me?” he asked, according to the report. “Why do you have to search me?”

Bieber later acknowledged that he had taken prescription medicine, had been smoking marijuana and had consumed alcohol, Martinez said.

Representatives for Bieber and his mother, Pattie Mallette, said they had no comment about his arrest.

EXTRA: You must read these crazy ‘Belieber’ tweets |  Bieber’s mom: ‘Pray for him’

His friend, identified as R&B singer Khalil Sharieff, was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence. His bail was set at $1,000.

High-powered criminal defense attorney Roy Black, who also has represented radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, actor Kelsey Grammer and Kennedy family member William Kennedy Smith, appeared in court on behalf of both men.

“This hopefully will proceed as any other case,” Black said after the hearing.

‘THE CHAOS HE IS LIVING IN’

The police department in the Florida city of Opa-locka is investigating whether two of its officers gave Bieber an unauthorized escort on Monday night after his private jet landed at the local airport, said city spokesman David Chiverton.

He confirmed the city also was looking into whether officers escorted Bieber to the King of Diamonds strip club in Miami Gardens.

WATCH: MSNBC interrupts a Congresswoman for ‘breaking’ Bieber news

“We’re investigating whether our police department escorted him there,” said Chiverton. “You can have fun in Miami, but not too much fun.”

Bieber was later released and escorted from jail by correctional officers. Wearing a hoodie and dark sunglasses, Bieber climbed on top of a waiting SUV to wave to fans.

The teen and children’s idol, who has had nearly 50 million followers on Twitter, risks running afoul of his fans’ parents. And even his hardcore supporters recognize he may have entered dangerous territory.

“The rough times he is going through, all of his fans have to be here to support him,” said Salynn Chiong, 20, as she watched Bieber leaving jail.

She hoped he goes into rehab “and takes a break from the chaos he is living in.”

(Additional reporting by David Adams, Ben Gruber, Eric Kelsey and Zachary Cook; Writing by Colleen Jenkins and Mary Milliken; editing by Gunna Dickson)

Latest Headlines

in Entertainment

Easy April Fools’ Day pranks

Fresh
aprilfools

Looking for a quick and easy way to pull a fast one? Check out these perfect pranks for kids, coworkers, and friends.

in Music

Willie Nelson announces lineup for July 4 picnic

willienelson

The legendary musician is bringing his picnic back to Austin, Texas.

in Entertainment

Robin Williams’ image cannot be used for 25 years

Actor and comedian Robin Williams poses during a press tour promoting his new movie "License To Wed" in Santa Monica, Calif., Friday, June 15, 2007.

The "Mrs. Doubtfire" star will not appear in any form of publicity until 2039.

in Music

Music festivals ban ‘selfie sticks’

selfie

You'll just have to have long arms if you're taking a selfie at Coachella or Lollapalooza.

in Lifestyle

Amazon wants to help you get your housework done

A box from Amazon.com is pictured on the porch of a house in Golden, Colorado on July 28, 2008.

Amazon is offering to help get your chores done, with listings for everything from housecleaning to goat grazing.