By Cameron French and Zachary FagensonBieber was charged late
on Wednesday with assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto and
the Toronto Star newspaper reported Thursday that the driver in
the alleged assault in December quit his job "in shock"
following the incident.
As his legal troubles mounted, camera crews and fans were camped
outside a downtown Toronto hotel where they thought the
19-year-old Canadian was holed up. He made no appearances and
his representatives declined to comment.
The doe-eyed "Boyfriend" singer has had a turbulent year with
scuffles with paparazzi in London and a felony investigation
into whether he pelted a neighbor's house with eggs. The charges
over the last week now put Bieber at risk of serving jail time.
On Thursday, a report by the Miami-Dade Office of the State
Attorney said Bieber had marijuana and prescription medication
for anxiety in his system when he was arrested in Miami Beach.
The preliminary report did not detail the amount of marijuana
and alprazolam, better known as the anti-anxiety medication
Xanax, that Bieber had in his system. Police have said he failed
a field sobriety test after they had caught him allegedly drag
racing on January 23.
Bieber has pleaded not guilty to driving under the influence,
resisting arrest without violence and driving on an expired
license. If convicted, he could face up to six months in jail,
although a maximum penalty is unlikely because it would be his
The singer, who is under the U.S. legal drinking age of 21, also
had a minimal amount of alcohol in his system but had difficulty
performing a breathalyzer test, police said in an affidavit.
Bieber also said he did not know what kind of anxiety medication
he'd taken as he did not know what he was prescribed.
"Well, my mom takes care of all that stuff for me," Bieber told
police, according to the affidavit.
In the field sobriety test report, police said that Bieber had
the odor of alcohol on his breath, bloodshot eyes and a flushed
face. His attitude was profane, insulting and cocky.
Bieber's highest blood-alcohol content during the four tests
administered was 0.014, below the 0.02 legal limit for those
under 21 in Florida. The limit for drivers 21 and over is 0.08.
Police said Bieber "continuously forgot basic instructions," and
they believed he was purposefully not taking the test correctly.
He performed the breathalyzer exam correctly only after police
told him he would lose his license if he "refused" the test,
according to the affidavit.
When told he "reeked" of marijuana, Bieber said:
"Yeah, we were smoking all night at the studio."
[to top of second column]
LIMO DRIVER "ASSAULTED IN THE HEAD"
The Toronto assault charge stems from an incident in the early hours
of December 30 when Bieber and five others were picked up outside a
Toronto nightclub. His Canadian lawyer said in a statement that
Bieber is innocent.
Police alleged the driver was struck on the back of the head several
times on the way to a hotel. Bieber left the scene before police
arrived, they alleged in a statement.
Tony Albert, the manager of Park Lane Livery
limousines, which operated the limo, told the Toronto Star the
driver quit his job shortly after the incident.
The driver is "in shock. Something like this does not happen in
Toronto," Albert told the newspaper. He declined to disclose his
identity on the advice of legal counsel.
An employee at the company told Reuters that Albert was not
immediately available to confirm the report.
"We do club runs every weekend in Toronto — even with the drunkies
we never faced this kind of problem, the driver getting physically
assaulted in the head," he said.
Bieber was charged after appearing at a Toronto police station late
Wednesday, arriving in a black SUV and met by a crowd of journalists
and screaming fans.
An assault conviction in Canada has a maximum
sentence of five years, but experts doubted the maximum would be
Bieber's legal team said they expect the matter will be treated as a
summary offence, which is the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the
The singer had at least one defender on Thursday who knows something
about negative attention: fellow Canadian and Toronto Mayor Rob
Ford, who has become a staple of late-night comics since he admitted
in November that he had smoked crack cocaine while in a "drunken
stupor," defended Bieber on Thursday during an interview on a
Washington, D.C., radio show called Sports Junkies.
"Well, you know what, he's a young guy," said Ford. "He's 19 years
old, guys. Think back to when you were 19."
(Additional reporting by Allison
Martell; editing by Jeffrey Hodgson and Mary Milliken)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.