Justin Bieber charged with Toronto limo driver assault
- 30 January 2014
- From the section US & Canada
Canadian pop star Justin Bieber has been charged with assaulting a limousine driver in Toronto last month.
The 19-year-old handed himself in at a Toronto police station where he was mobbed by TV crews, news photographers and screaming teenage fans.
The charge comes a week after he was arrested and charged for a separate incident in Florida for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.
A lawyer for the singer said his client was innocent.
Toronto police say that Justin Bieber was one of six people picked up by a limousine outside a nightclub in the early hours of 30 December.
"While driving the group to a hotel, an altercation occurred between one of the passengers and the driver of the limousine," a police statement said.
"In the course of the altercation, a man struck the limousine driver on the back of the head several times.
"The driver stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police. The man who struck him left the scene before police arrived."
After surrendering to police on Wednesday, the singer was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on 10 March.
Howard Weitzman, Mr Bieber's lawyer in California, said the entertainer was innocent and that he expected the case to be treated as a summary offence, which is the equivalent of a misdemeanour in the United States.
Earlier on Wednesday, a petition requesting Mr Bieber's expulsion from the US attained 100,000 signatures.
The petition was filed on a White House website by a member of the public.
The US president has no power to order an individual's deportation, and it is unclear whether the White House will respond to the petition.
Justin Bieber has had several run-ins with police over the past year.
'Marijuana and Xanax'
In the early hours of last Thursday, he was arrested in Miami Beach after a police officer pulled him over on suspicion of racing a hired yellow Lamborghini on a public street.
Suspecting he was intoxicated, the officer arrested him. The singer was also charged with resisting arrest and driving on an expired licence.
A urine sample taken from Mr Bieber after his arrest tested positive for marijuana and Xanax, a drug that treats anxiety and insomnia, Miami Beach police told US media on Thursday.
Mr Bieber was later released on bail of $2,500 (£1,500).
Earlier in January, police in California searched Mr Bieber's home after he allegedly threw eggs at his neighbour's house, causing thousands of dollars in damage.
The outcome of that search is still unclear but one of the singer's associates was arrested amid the search and charged with drug possession.
The singer's manager tweeted on Wednesday evening asking people "to be kind and hope for the best in people. not assume the worst. Thanks."