MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – When he debuted five years ago, Justin Bieber was a mop-haired heartthrob, clean cut and charming. But a series of troubling incidents have put his innocent image at risk, and none more so than his arrest on DUI charges Thursday.
Police say they arrested a bleary-eyed Bieber – smelling of alcohol – after officers saw him drag-racing before dawn on a palm-lined residential street.
The 19-year-old singer later admitted smoking marijuana, drinking and taking a prescription medication, police say. Unlike previous episodes, this arrest has him facing potential jail time.
Bieber was charged with DUI, driving with an expired license and resisting arrest without violence. His Miami-Dade County jail mug shot showed the singer smiling in a bright red inmate jumpsuit.
He was arrested with R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff, after police say they raced two luxury vehicles down the street at 4:09 a.m., with two other vehicles apparently being used to block off the area.
According to the arrest report, Bieber appeared to be in a stupor when the officer ordered him to exit his vehicle. At one point, Bieber said to an officer: “What the f--- did I do, why did you stop me?”
Bieber left jail Thursday afternoon after posting $2,500 bond, waving at crowds from atop his black SUV.
The Canadian-born Bieber was only 15 when his platinum-selling debut “My World” was released. He was positioned as clean-cut and charming – even singing for President Barack Obama and his family at Christmas – but problems began to multiply as he got older.
Bieber has been accused of wrongdoing in California but has never been arrested or charged. He is currently under investigation in a felony vandalism case after a neighbor reported the pop star threw eggs at his house and caused thousands of dollars of damage.
A neighbor had previously accused Bieber of spitting in his face, and a paparazzo called deputies after he said Bieber kicked him, but prosecutors declined to file charges in either instance. He was also accused of reckless driving in his neighborhood, but it was unclear whether Bieber was driving.
Bieber is also being sued by a former bodyguard who says the singer repeatedly berated him, hit him in the chest and owes him more than $420,000 in overtime and other wages. The case is scheduled to go to trial in Los Angeles next month.