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Justin Bieber

Paparazzo Charged

in Freeway Chase

7/25/2012 11:00 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0706-justin-bieber-bauer-stop-article-3
The paparazzo who was the alleged ringleader in the wild Justin Bieber Freeway chase in L.A. earlier this month has been hit with multiple criminal charges.

According to the L.A. City Attorney, 30 year old Paul Raef -- a freelance paparazzo -- was hit with a total of 4 counts stemming from the July 6 incident.

-- 2 counts of following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain
-- 1 count of reckless driving
-- 1 count of failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer.

This is the first case filed under the new paparazzi law ...which makes it a crime to create a dangerous situation while following a celebrity for profit.

TMZ broke the story ... Bieber was cited for driving 80 mph in his chrome Fisker Karma. Justin told police he was trying to escape a gang of paparazzi who had been relentlessly pursuing him for miles.

Officials say Raef was among the pack of photogs giving chase ... and was driving his Toyota Rav at speeds "well in excess of 80 miles per hour across all lanes and even, at times, on the shoulder."

Officials say other motorists were forced to apply their brakes and swerve to avoid colliding with the vehicles.

Officials say cops caught up with Bieber and Raef during the chase and tried to pull them both over. Justin obliged ... but Raef allegedly blew off the lights and sirens and fled the scene.

30 minutes later, officials say cops noticed Raef's car at another paparazzi crush ... and identified him as the guy from the previous chase. 

If convicted on all counts, Raef could face up to one year in the county jail and fines totaling $3,500.

88 COMMENTS

No Avatar
31.

anonymous    

I think not only should the pap be charged, but so should Bieber. He too chose to drive that fast and escalated the situation. ALL ARE GUILTY. i do however think the paps abuse the law greatly by following these people and causing dangerous situations.

759 days ago
32.

pw_opinions    

Hell Yeah, paparazzi suck

759 days ago
33.

Tralfaz    

And the little brat gets off? Lame. And that is one UGLY car.

759 days ago
34.

Aufidius    

Good to see this new regulation in force...

759 days ago
35.

Mike L    

If Bieber doesn't get charged too then theres a major problem with the LAPD. We know police departments are corrupt, but that would be going to a new extreme. He started the whole thing. If he doesn't run, neither do the paps. They're just doing their job.

759 days ago
36.

Jean    

Charge Bieber!!! If he would have just slowed down the "Pap" would have slowed down, too! Another celebrity getting away with breaking the law. I'm so tired of them getting special treatment!!!!

759 days ago
37.

krys    

Bieber is asking for trouble with that car. Why would you own a car that will absolutely single you out on the road? Duh!

759 days ago
38.

smartchick    

How come when Princess Diana loses her life because her drunken chauffeur tried to outrun paps, the world mourned. But when Justin Bieber is sucked into the same situation (thankfully without having to die), you people want to deport him? What a crock.....and what a lot of a**holes you are.

759 days ago
39.

Dave     

Listen to all the haters regarding Bieber. Yes he was wrong, but really? Death? WTF? Grow up you jealous idiots. He's a kid man. You WISH you had his dough. You WISH you could perform in front of millions and have a couple hundred million in the bank. Give'em a ticket and move on you morons!

759 days ago
40.

Madison    

The LAPD always lets off beautiful young white women.

759 days ago
41.

Maileeann    

All I can say is YEA!!!!!!!! These paps are the s*** of the earth and have caused many dangerous situations. Now they'll, hopefully, have to pay for their greed and their desperation to get "THAT SHOT".

759 days ago
42.

kali    

Great news!! One lowlife s***sucker down, more to go!

759 days ago
43.

Youphemism    

"the new paparazzi law ...which makes it a crime to create a dangerous situation while following a celebrity for profit."

I hope the law is written a little better than this description, or it represents the next logical step from Lexus Lanes to an all-out, government-sponsored, two-tiered society of the elite and the rest of us. Such a law would violate equal protection under the constitution.

It would also set up wonderful defenses such as, "I didn't set up a dangerous situation while following a *celebrity* for profit... My high-speed chase was with Kim Kardashian's lawyer" or "There was no profit involved. I work for NPR."

I hope that pap law actually protects all of us -- not just celebrities.

759 days ago
44.

DaveT    

...."30 year old Paul Raef"...
He's 30, he knows better.
As older adults we have responsibility toward young people.
When we're young we're not experienced yet, don't have discernment to always make the best choices.
When a little older we do have the experience, and we know that younger people don't.
Our job isn't to stand over young people and preach and judge and tell them they're stupid when they mess up, our job is to recognize that we only know more than they do because we've had the privilege of time, time that gives us experience.
Time young people haven't had yet, our job is to remind them and teach them what we've learned, not blow them out of the water with our verbal bullets.
Paul Raef is old enough to know he shouldn't push a young person into a fight-or-flight situation on the road, he knows Justin is still young enough to overreact and make a poor choice under those cir***stances.
Justin got his ticket, listened to the advice of older adults, police, and followed that advice at the very next opportunity he had, pulled over and called 911.

759 days ago
45.

MadCharles    

County will do him good. Bieber should also go to county or stay the hell home and off the streets.

759 days ago
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