10:13 AM EDT, October 22, 2012
LOS ANGELES, Calif. (KTLA) -- After months of postponing, the arraignment for the freelance paparazzo accused of chasing Justin Bieber on the 101 Freeway is set for Monday.
Paul Raef, 30, is charged with two counts of following another vehicle too closely with intent to photograph for commercial gain.
He also faces one count each of reckless driving and failure to obey a peace officer. He is expected to plead not guilty to all the charges.
This is the first case filed under the new paparazzi law brought about by City Councilman Dennis Zine, who was among 10 people who reported the chase to police as it was happening.
If convicted, Raef faces up to a year in jail and fines of up to $3,500.
Bieber, 18, was stopped and cited on July 6 after CHP officers spotted him driving in a "reckless manner" between Coldwater Canyon and Vineland avenues at speeds in excess of 65 mph.
CHP officers reported seeing at least one other car chasing Bieber, but that vehicle fled the scene when the singer was stopped.
Zine, who spent 33 years in the LAPD and is a reserve officer, said he was headed downtown from the West Valley when he saw the Bieber's chrome-colored Fisker Karma being chased and called police.
Zine wasn't the only concerned driver. TMZ reported that police received as many as 10 calls to 911.
Bieber called 911 as well and used a false name to report the chase. He said he wasn't driving recklessly -- he was trying to outrun the paparazzi.
"I have 5 cars following me... on the freeway," Bieber told the dispatcher.
The responder asked what the cars were doing to him, and Bieber replied, "They will not stop following me."
When asked for his name, he told the responder Justin, and hesitated to change his last name to Johnson.
Zine said that he didn't know the driver was the superstar pop singer until later.
"He was going from the fast lane to the slow lane to the shoulder in traffic," Zine said. "It was a very dangerous driving situation. I figured someone was going to crash, so I called 911."
The councilman said he understands the problems celebrities have with paparazzi and sponsored a city law to curb the aggressive behavior. Still, he said, that's no excuse.
"Anytime you do 90, the paparazzi are going to go 90," Zine said.