Justin Bieber charged with drunk driving, drag racing in Florida
By Zachary Fagenson
MIAMI BEACH, Florida (Reuters) - Teen pop star Justin Bieber was arrested in Miami Beach early on Thursday on a drunken driving charge after he was caught drag racing on a main thoroughfare in a rented yellow Lamborghini, police said.
The 19-year-old Canadian singer initially resisted arrest, cursed at police officers and later told them he had consumed alcohol, pot and prescription drugs, police said. A judge set his bail at $2,500.
He was later released and escorted from jail by correctional officers. Wearing a hoodie and dark sunglasses, Bieber climbed on top of a waiting SUV to wave to fans.
"He's everything to me," said Amanda Perez, a 19-year-old fan. "This came out to be a disaster but I still love him from the bottom of my heart."
"The rough times he is going through, all of his fans have to be here to support him," said Salynn Chiong, 20, adding she hoped he goes into rehab "and takes a break from the chaos he is living in."
Bieber's arrest is his most serious run-in with the law during a year in which his erratic behavior has ranged from allegations of speeding through his gated community near Los Angeles to heated scuffles with paparazzi.
Just after 4 a.m. EST on Thursday (1000 GMT), officers observed Bieber's Lamborghini alongside another driver in a red Ferrari accelerate from a stop position on a four-lane road in a residential area just a few blocks from the South Beach tourist district, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez said.
Two SUVs had blocked off the road so the "Boyfriend" singer could race a friend who was driving the rented red sports car, police said.
Bieber was driving the sports car 55 to 60 miles per hour (88 to 96 km per hour) in a 30-mile-per-hour zone. He was also charged with resisting arrest without violence and driving on an expired Georgia license, Miami Beach police spokeswoman Vivian Hernandez said.
The singer was "a little belligerent, using some choice words," when arrested, Martinez said, but he grew cooperative at the police station. His mug shot shows him smiling.
In the arrest report, an officer said Bieber had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on his breath. The singer told police he was returning from a studio recording session and repeatedly asked why he had been stopped and arrested.