Jul 29, 2014

Paparazzo Charged With Chasing Justin Bieber Through the Valley

Paul Raef is charged with four misdemeanors and could face up to a year in jail

Paparazzo Charged With Chasing Justin Bieber Through the Valley

A freelance paparazzo was charged Wednesday with four misdemeanor reckless-driving counts for allegedly chasing pop star Justin Bieber on the Hollywood (101) Freeway in the San Fernando Valley earlier this month.

Paul Raef could face up to a year in jail and $3,500 in fines if convicted, according to the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office. He is scheduled
to be arraigned Aug. 9 in Van Nuys.

According to city prosecutors, Raef is the first paparazzo charged under a 2010 state law that penalizes photographers for driving dangerously in an attempt to take photos "for commercial gain.'' He was charged with two counts of violating that statute, along with single counts of reckless driving and failing to obey the order of a peace officer.

at the end of the July 6 chase, which raised the ire of City Councilman Dennis Zine, who witnessed the chase and called 911 to report seeing Bieber's sports car speeding along the freeway.

Zine said Bieber was weaving in and out of freeway lanes in his customized chrome Fisker Karma while being followed at high speeds by a pack of
other vehicles.

According to the City Attorney's Office, the pack included Raef's Toyota
Rav 4, which was seen being driven in excess of 80 mph, weaving across lanes
and even on the freeway shoulder. Bieber pulled over when California Highway
Patrol officers caught the group, but Raef sped off, according to prosecutors.

About 30 minutes later, Bieber called 911 and reported that he was being
followed again by the Toyota, according to the City Attorney's Office.

Officers responded and found the Toyota and other paparazzi gathered at a
downtown Los Angeles parking garage.

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