Justin Bieber charged with assault on limo driver
Singer's second arrest in a week has people asking if his pursuit of bad boy image is out of control
IS Justin Bieber determined to go to jail? That's the question being posed by more than one commentator after the 19-year-old pop star was charged with assault in Toronto.
The charge, which relates to an alleged assault on a limousine driver in the Canadian city last month, comes hard on the heels of his arrest in Miami for DUI, resisting arrest and driving with an expired licence. While Bieber's indiscretions once seemed like the harmless antics of an over-indulged multi-millionaire, it now seems he may have taken his bid for a bad boy image several steps too far.
Bieber's second arrest in a week occurred after he turned himself over to Toronto police last night, the Daily Telegraph reports. In a scene that is becoming increasingly familiar, the singer stepped out of a black van into a chaotic mob of photographers and fans and walked into a police station to face the music.
It is alleged that Bieber hit the driver "several times" in the back of the head as the car ferried the singer and his entourage from a nightclub in the early morning hours of 30 December. Bieber was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on 10 March.
At the time of the incident, Toronto police issued a statement that said: "The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police. The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived."
Bieber's lawyer said his client is innocent and declined to comment on the allegations against the singer or any potential defence, saying it was now a matter for the court to handle.
In related news, it seems patience with the Canadian pop star is wearing thin south of the border. A petition calling on the US to deport the singer, has attracted more than 136,000 signatures. The call to remove the "dangerous, reckless, destructive" pop star from America has been sent to the White House, which is expected to make an official statement on the matter, The Independent says.
The petition states: "He [Bieber] is not only threatening the safety of our people but he is also a terrible influence on our nation's youth. We the people would like to remove Justin Bieber from our society."
CNN says President Obama is unlikely to give Bieber the boot and points out that "facetious pop culture petitions aren't exactly a top priority for the White House". A call for America to build a Death Star went unanswered for two months, for example.