By Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES — Justin Bieber isn’t quite out of the legal woods yet.
On Monday, authorities said they would not file charges over claims the pop star snatched a woman’s cell phone at a miniature golf course and batting cages center in Sherman Oaks in Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley.
But Bieber could still face a vandalism charge in connection with the January egging of a neighbor’s home in Calabasas.
The egging was considered a possible felony because damage totaled $20,000, authorities said. Through his attorney, Bieber has denied any wrongdoing in the matter.
Bieber has had a series of run-ins with law enforcement this year, in Los Angeles as well as in Florida.
In the phone-snatching case, the woman alleged she was with her 13-year-old daughter at the Sherman Oaks Castle Park miniature golf course and batting cages on May 12 when Bieber accused her of recording him with her cell phone.
She told detectives she had already put her phone in her purse after Bieber’s security guard said she could not take pictures. But she accused the pop star of reaching into her purse and trying to pull the phone out anyway.
The woman said she never let go of the phone as they struggled for control of it. After she promised to show him that she had not been recording, he allegedly released the phone and she displayed the screen.
She told police detectives that Bieber said: “Why don’t you leave, you’re embarrassing your daughter.” The woman said at that point her daughter started to cry and they left. The woman called TMZ.com the next day and also filed a police report.
Detectives verified the woman’s account with her daughter, who said she had been crying with excitement at seeing Bieber, according to the district attorney’s report.
Bieber refused to be interviewed by authorities. Security cameras at the miniature golf center did not capture the incident and no one has come forward with any other evidence, prosecutors wrote.
Nine employees were interviewed but none saw Bieber grab the phone or engage in any physical altercation, authorities said.
The Los Angeles city attorney’s office declined to file misdemeanor charges against the 20-year-old Canadian performer related to the incident.
The office received the case after the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office determined evidence was insufficient for a more serious felony filing.
AFP Photo/Joe Raedle