Photographer faces one year in county jail and fines up to $3,500.
Nothing will stop the paparazzi from getting their shot, and it looks like they’re paying for it — at least for Paul Raef, the photographer who dangerously chased Justin Bieber down Los Angeles’ 101 Freeway last month.
The Los Angeles City Attorney Office confirmed it will be filing four criminal charges against the 30-year-old photog. The highway pursuer potentially faces one year in county jail and fines up to $3,500. City attorney spokesman Frank Mateljan tells E! News the freelance pap faces four misdemeanor charges, including following another vehicle too closely, reckless driving with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain, reckless driving and failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer.
It’s a less-than-surprising outcome for the high-speed chase, which landed the pop star a speeding ticket. According to Mateljan, the speedy paparazzo was driving his Toyota Rav4 at least 80 miles per hour as he attempted to chase down the 18-year-old’s chrome Fisker Karma. Among one of the nearby drivers that had to stay clear of the chase was Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine. Describing the chase as “a very dangerous, chaotic situation,” Zine says he was driving 60 to 65 miles per hour before Bieber passed him “in a careless, reckless fashion” and was eventually pulled over.
Raef made use of Bieber’s stop by speeding away from the scene but wasn’t willing to give up so easily on the potential photo and continued to follow the singer only a short 30 minutes later, before Bieber made a call to 911 for help. Police found the photographer afterward when his license-plate number was spotted in a parking garage in downtown L.A. Days after the incident, Bieber filed a harassment complaint against Raef, alleging the pursuer was acting “extremely aggressive” on the road.