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Justin Bieber arrested in Miami Beach over DUI, drag-racing

By David Ovalle, Christina Veiga and Julie K. Brown
jbrown@miamiherald.com

Fallen pop star Justin Bieber left a Miami-Dade jail Thursday afternoon, following four days of carousing that led to the suspensions of three police officers and ended with his own wild, drug-fueled drag race in Miami Beach, authorities said.

The world’s richest teenager, waved to a flock of tearful fans from his SUV as he left the prison about 2:30 p.m. after being charged with DUI, resisting arrest and driving without a valid license. He posted a $2,500 bond.

His release came about an hour after the 19-year-old’s hearing in Miami-Dade circuit court, via video, appearing less cheerful than in his glassy-eyed-but-smiling police mugshot. Clad in an orange-red prison jumpsuit, his sleeves rolled up to reveal his tattooed arms, he was solemn, letting his high-profile lawyer, Roy Black, do the talking.

The singer’s demeanor was in sharp contrast to his 4 a.m. performance with Miami Beach police officers, when he allegedly swaggered through his arrest, reeking of alcohol and firing off a string of F-bombs.

“Why the f--- did you stop me?'” he asked officer Fulgencio Medina, who finally cornered him near 41st Street as he was peeling down Pine Tree Drive at 55 to 60 mph in a yellow Lamborghini, according to the police report. The speed limit on that stretch, from 26th to 41st streets, is 30.

After allegedly smoking pot all day, drinking beer, clubbing, popping anti-depressants and spending some time in a recording studio, the lead-footed singer and a buddy launched the predawn race in their rented wheels early Thursday.

The other driver, Sacramento-based R&B artist Khalil Sharieff, 19, lined up next to him in a red Ferrari, both of them speeding off side-by-side, northbound on the east side of Pine Tree, a narrow stretch of roadway marked by tall pines with thick roots.

Members of the musician’s entourage had apparently used their cars near the starting line, at 26th Street, near the Miami Beach Hebrew Academy and Scott Rakow Youth Center, to block the strip for the young star — who had been on a party spree all week in South Florida.

“It was a cold night, and it was quiet, so the officers could hear the cars,” Chief Ray Martinez said, adding that patrols followed the sound of the revving engines. “When the cars are going that fast, it takes a while to catch up.”

The police report said that Bieber was flushed, in a stupor, smelled of alcohol and was incoherent. He failed a field sobriety test, miserably, they said.

Bieber kept fumbling his hands in his pockets and, even after he was asked to place his hands on his car in front of him, kept turning around and confronting the officer, who attempted to pat him down for weapons.

“I ain’t got no f------ weapons. Why do you have to search me?” Bieber said, according to the report.

Finally, after several warnings, Bieber was placed in handcuffs.

“Why the f--- are you doing this?'” Bieber kept asking.

News and social media showed Bieber in the company of his father, Jeremy Bieber, since arriving in South Florida on Monday, when the teen heartthrob first made headlines for using Opa-locka police officers to escort him from Opa-locka airport Monday, then flashed wads of cash at the King of Diamonds strip club in Miami later that evening.

Three Opa-locka officers have been suspended with pay in connection with the incident, pending an investigation. The officers were not authorized to escort the singer in their marked patrol cars while on duty, according to Deputy City Manager David Chiverton.

It’s not clear whether the officers escorted the singer to King of Diamonds, the strip club, or to Club Mansion in South Beach, He was spotted in both places that evening.

Though Bieber has been in trouble before, it is his first arrest. The Canadian native told Miami Beach officers he had been at a recording studio Wednesday evening.

A source at SET, a Lincoln Road nightclub, reported Bieber arrived Wednesday night in a yellow Lamborghini with a group of young men and that he sat shirtless with a backward baseball cap in a VIP room next to the DJ booth. Bieber didn’t say much and ordered Red Bulls and water.

“He looked really pale,” the source said. The group stayed until around 3 a.m., and Bieber left in the Lamborghini with a Miami model he “picked up randomly in the club,” the source said. Some photos sent via social media by Sharieff included an unidentified woman sitting in the Lamborghini with Bieber.

Roadside sobriety tests showed that Bieber was under the influence of drugs, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told the Herald. He declined to comment further, but a police source said Bieber admitted he had been smoking marijuana, taking prescription anti-depressants and had a beer or two.

According to sources, Bieber's breath test did not show any substantive alcohol use. He blew .014 and .011, well below the legal limit. That amount is too low for authorities to suspend a license for an underage driver, although Bieber does not have a Florida license.

A police officer certified as a “Drug Recognition Expert” also evaluated Bieber — and concluded he was driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Bieber also gave a urine sample, which could net preliminary results within a couple days.

Martinez said it is against city ordinance for anyone under the age of 21 to be inside a nightclub — but Bieber was purportedly scheduled to perform at SET, which have allowed him inside the club. In cities that don’t have similar ordinances, 18-year-olds can be admitted to a nightclub but can’t be served alcohol.

Instagram photos of Bieber and Sharieff were sent via social media earlier from MIA Skate Shop, a South Beach skateboard store, and the two tweeted photos and video from a local skate park.

“Miami nights ridin thru yo city in that hot wheel,” Sharieff, who performs under the aegis of Island Def Jam Records, tweeted on his account earlier Thursday morning.

Miami Beach’s mayor praised police handling of the arrest as professional.

“Our city is committed to the safety of our residents and tourists,” Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine said in a statement. “Everyone must respect the law and no preferential treatment will be afforded to anyone, regardless of their high-profile or celebrity status.”

Bieber was driving a 2013 Lamborghini Gallardo. Sharieff was behind the wheel of a 2009 Ferrari 16M. The cars, worth about $260,000 each, were rented from the Miami exotic car rental company Lou La Vie, confirmed John Temerian, Lou La Vie’s owner.

He said he generally rents the cars for $1,200 to $1,800 a day.

Bieber’s latest scrape is another black eye for the embattled Boyfriend singer, who has had a fondness for drag racing in residential neighborhoods.

Neighbors in his exclusive, gated Calabasas, Calif., community have long complained about him speeding down their streets. Media reports have said sheriff’s deputies were called to his mansion several times over the past year, and retired NFL player Keyshawn Johnson also attempted to counsel the singer, but Bieber refused to talk to him.

Earlier this month, a neighbor in Los Angeles accused Bieber and his pals of hurling eggs at his home, causing extensive damage. Officers searched Bieber’s home and one person was arrested on drug charges. He is under investigation for felony vandalism in that incident.

Bieber had been due in a Santa Monica, Calif., attorney’s office Thursday to give a deposition ordered by a Miami judge in a lawsuit filed by a paparazzo alleging that Bieber’s bodyguards had roughed him up.

Miami Herald staff writer Ina Paiva Cordle and correspondents Lesley Abravanel, Ricardo Mor and Jose Lambiet contributed to this report.
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