Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Justin Bieber Paparazzo Charged for "Dangerous, Chaotic" High-Speed Chase - E! Online

Justin BieberAKM-GSI

There's a cure for Bieber Feverâ€"and it sounds very painful.

A paparazzo who allegedly couldn't get enough of that Justin Bieber stuff is facing potential jail time after being targeted today by prosecutors in Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles City Attorney's Office confirms to E! News criminal charges have been filed against freelance photographer Paul Raef from a July 6 high-speed freeway chase that ended with Bieber getting a speeding ticket and the shutterbug seemingly getting away.

MORE: Justin Bieber's Alleged Paparazzi Chase: City Attorney's on the Case!

City attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan tells E! News the 30-year-old photog faces four misdemeanor charges in all: following another vehicle too closely, reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain, reckless driving and failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer.

Prosecutors weighed their decision in part on whether they believed Raef endangered lives during the pursuit.

According to Mateljan, the photog drove his Toyota Rav 4 in excess of 80 miles her hour while trying to keep up with the teen idol's Fisker Karma electric sports car. The chase involved both vehicles darting across all lanes of a freeway and even riding on the shoulder, which forced other motorists to brake or swerve to avoid collision. One of those motorists was Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, a former cop who was among those calling 911 during the pursuit.

MORE: Justin Bieber Busted in "Chaotic, Dangerous" Speeding Incident

"It was a very dangerous, chaotic situation," Zine said. "I was driving 60 to 65 miles per hour. When [Bieber] passed me, he was...driving in a careless, reckless fashion."

California Highway Patrol eventually pulled Bieber over, cited him for speeding, and released the popster, but not before Raef sped off. About 30 minutes later, Justin called police to report he was being harassed on the interstate by the same Toyota. Officers eventually collared Raef after identifying his vehicle's license plate in a downtown L.A. parking garage.

If convicted, the paparazzo could face up to one year in the county jail and fines up to $3,500.

An attorney for Raef could not be reached for comment.

â€"Reporting by Baker Machado

PHOTOS: Stars and Their Cars

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