LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Teenage pop star Justin Bieber will not face charges for an alleged altercation with a man who was taking photos him at a suburban shopping center in May, Los Angeles prosecutors said on Wednesday.
Deputy District Attorney Mara McIlvain said in a report there was “insufficient evidence for proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that the Canadian singer scuffled with paparazzo Jose Hernandez-Duran before leaving the shopping center with his girlfriend, actress Selena Gomez.
The photographer accused Bieber, 18, of leaving a van to kick him in the abdomen and punch him in the face. Officials called to the scene in Calabasas, 30 miles (48 km) west of Los Angeles, found no apparent injury or trauma to the photographer.
A later doctor’s evaluation indicated “minor swelling” to the photographer’s right cheek and “redness” on his lower abdomen but labeled the injuries “superficial.”
McIlvain’s report indicated that Bieber became frustrated when photographers obstructed his vehicle as he attempted to leave the shopping center. He then left the vehicle, charged at Hernandez-Duran and fell after taking a swing at his camera.
Witnesses told investigators they could not determine if Bieber had struck Hernandez-Duran, who kept on taking photos of the singer after the incident. They said the photographer was approached by a lawyer soon after the run-in.
McIlvain said there were no photos of a scuffle between Bieber and Hernandez-Duran, even though many photographers were present.
Bieber’s publicist could not immediately be reached for comment.
The pop star swept the American Music Awards on Sunday, winning three, including the top prize of the night, and performed live during the show.
Reporting By Eric Kelsey, editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and David Brunnstrom