Justin Bieber dodges charges in alleged phone snatching

Justin Bieber dodges charges in alleged phone snatching
Pop star Justin Bieber watches a 2012 Clippers game. The Canadian pop star avoided charges Monday in an alleged cellphone-snatching case. (Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Justin Bieber dodged criminal charges Monday related to an accusation by a woman that he tried to snatch her cell phone at a miniature golf course and batting cages center in Sherman Oaks.

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.

The decision comes as Bieber is expected to face a possible vandalism charge in connection with the January egging of a neighbor's home in Calabasas.

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 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 then called the next day and 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.

Bieber has had a series of run-ins with law enforcement this year. Los Angeles County sheriff's detectives investigated Bieber in a felony vandalism case after he was accused by a neighbor of egging a home in Calabasas.

The egging in the 25000 block of Prado Del Grandioso was considered a possible felony because damage totaled $20,000, authorities said. Through his attorney, Bieber has denied any wrongdoing in the matter.

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