Paul Raef, the 30-year-old paparazzo photographer who was involved in a high-speed chase with Justin Beiber on July 6th is now facing criminal charges issued by the Los Angeles city attorney’s office. Authorities are using the new California law that identifies the pursuit of celebrities by member of the press (i.e. paparazzi) as an endangerment for public safety.
The charges stemmed from a July 6 incident wherein several 911 calls were made pertaining to the high speed chase between Bieber and six of his pursuers – one of them was Raef who is now being charged with four misdemeanors, two counts for tailing a vehicle closely and recklessly, with the intent of capturing photos for personal gain, one for reckless driving, and another for failing to obey an officer.
Police say he was among many photographers chasing Bieber, but that he drove “well in excess of 80 miles per hour across all lanes and even, at times, on the shoulder” in pursuit of the pop star.
Raef is scheduled for arraignment on August 9. He faces up to one year in jail, and a fine of up to $3,500 if convicted.