So here's something I never imagined I'd be covering for my celebrity-news beat any time soon: Justin Bieber was in a high-speed chase on the 101 in LA last Friday. While I'd sort of love to report that he was being tailed by cops while he attempted to escape to Mexico -- his every pop-prince orifice crammed with balloons full of heroin -- it appears that Bieber's wild highway ride was in fact caused by a team of paparazzi.
Well, if you believe a team of paparazzi can be held at fault for causing someone to drive at "excessive speeds" in his luxury chrome Fisker Karma. That's apparently what the CHP is chewing over right now: whether or not Bieber is actually responsible for his 80+mph ticket.
The one piece of the story that's indisputably true is that Bieber was cited for speeding on Friday, but as for what happened beforehand, there's a lot of he-said he-said going on. According to L.A. City Councilman Dennis Zine -- a onetime LAPD motor officer who claims to have witnessed Bieber's driving -- Bieber was heading down the 101 in speeds that exceeded 100 mph while trying to ditch a team of photographers:
Bieber was driving like a maniac. He was weaving in and out of traffic. There was hardly any space between cars as he weaved from lane to lane. If I was on patrol, I would have arrested him for reckless driving. I was going 60 and he drove by me like he was in a rocket ship.
Zine says that while Bieber was going way too fast, the paparazzi were also irresponsible, driving on the shoulder of the freeway and causing extreme hazards. The CHP is apparently considering all the information in this incident, with one source saying Bieber may be found innocent of any wrongdoing:
This was like a Princess Diana situation. It was not Bieber's fault.
Personally, I can't really see how it wasn't Bieber's fault. Yeah, the paps are intrusive and probably cause a lot of dangerous situations in their pursuit of an exclusive photo, but it's not like Bieber's only choice was to drive that fast. He could have slowed way down, he could have pulled over, he could have called the police, he could have done lots of things other than put the pedal to the ($100,000 hybrid luxury sports sedan) metal.
I'm not saying the paparazzi shouldn't be held responsible -- maybe they should be fined or prevented from selling photos for a while, depending on what actually happened on Friday -- but if Justin Bieber weasels out of his well-deserved speeding ticket, I'll ... I'll ... well, I'll do NOTHING AT ALL, but I won't be happy about it.
Do you think Justin Bieber should be held responsible for speeding from paps last week?
Image via cukuskumir/Flickr