This week doesn't look like it'll be over easy for Justin Bieber.
That's because deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department descended upon the "Baby" singer's Calabasas home Tuesday morning with a felony search warrant tied to egg-throwing accusations. Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore confirms eight people were detained, including Bieber, adding that everyone "has been very cooperative" and that the investigation was ongoing. At this time, Bieber has not been arrested or charged.
One of his pals wasn't so lucky.
Detectives discovered a mysterious substance on Bieber associate Lil Za, who was staying at the house. Though it was originally reported to be cocaine, it is now believed to be Ecstasy and Xanax, but authorities are waiting on lab results. Za, real name Xavier Smith, was arrested on site, cuffed, and taken to the Malibu/Lost Hills station for booking on felony drug-possession counts. He was held on $20,000 bail.
However, while in custody, things went from bad to worse for Za. He was in a booking cell using a phone when he apparently became agitated by the conversation and smashed the receiver against the wall. A sheriff's spokesman told "The Insider" that he caused at least $400 worth of damage — and was slapped with a new charge: felony vandalism. The investigation into the incident is continuing.
Lil Za was photographed leaving the police station on Tuesday night. He drove away in the back of a car with two men and, according to photographers, returned to Bieber's house. As for how he was doing after the incident, he tweeted this short and sweet update:
A rep for Bieber has not yet returned calls seeking comment.
Bieber's neighbor alleged that during an incident last Thursday night, the singer egged the adjacent house while yelling profanities at the owner and his family, law enforcement officials told "The Insider." According to California law, vandalism charges hit the felony level when damages exceed $400. Bieber's neighbor has claimed the egging did $20,000-plus worth of damage to his abode.
Eleven squad cars showed up to conduct the search at 8 a.m. Authorities were looking for any evidence connecting Bieber to the egg-tossing altercation, according to Lt. David Thompson. This includes everything from egg cartons to surveillance camera video, or any videotaped evidence of the evening that may exist on computers or other cameras. X17 aerial footage showed patrol cars, SUVs, and motorcycle officers swarmed outside the sprawling home. According to TMZ, Bieber was held in his garage while the search took place.
The raid is the latest development in a year's worth of incidents between Bieber and his neighbors in this celeb-filled L.A. suburb. Calabasas, situated in the western part of San Fernando Valley, is known for its mega-million dollar homes, exclusivity, and relative privacy. Many celebs move there to get away from the spotlight and frenetic energy of Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, and other more central areas.
The Kardashians live there, as does Michael Jackson's family. Tommy Lee, Gary Sinise, Ken Jeong, Rebecca Romijn and Jerry O'Connell, Brandy, and Kendra Wilkinson all have called the community home. Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey resided there while filming their MTV show "Newlyweds." According to Forbes, smaller homes in the ritzy Estate at the Oaks enclave — which sits behind two large guarded gates — start around $2 million. Larger homes in the Estate section go for as much as $12 million.
Bieber reportedly bought his home in 2012 from Eddie Murphy's ex-wife, Nicole Murphy. His problems in the neighborhood first came to light in March 2013, when a verbal altercation took place between the "Boyfriend" singer and an unnamed resident. (It’s unclear if this is the same neighbor involved in the egg-throwing incident). The person in question accused Bieber of spitting on him during their argument.
Then last May, several of Bieber's neighbors (most famously, former NFL player and current ESPN personality Keyshawn Johnson) called authorities complaining about Bieber and his posse's reckless driving habits. In June, the neighborhood home owner's association reportedly sent a letter around encouraging folks to call the police if they witnessed any questionable behavior from Bieber and his friends. In October, the Biebs caught a lucky break when the spitting and speeding charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence by the D.A.'s office.
This article was originally published at 10 a.m. PT.
- Crime & Justice
- Justin Bieber