Southern California breaking news and trends

Belieb it: Paparazzo faces criminal charges in Justin Bieber freeway chase

2012 Consumer Electronics Show Showcases Latest Technology Innovations

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Singer Justin Bieber poses for fans while signing autographs at a press event at the 2012 International Consumer Electronics Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 11.

A paparazzo faces reckless driving and other charges in the Justin Bieber 101 freeway chase chaos of early July.

On Wednesday, Los Angeles City Attorney, Carmen Trutanich, issued this statement:

Paul Raef, 30, a self-employed freelance paparazzo, was charged with the following four charges: two counts of Vehicle Code section 40008 (a), for both following another vehicle too closely and reckless driving, with the intent to capture pictures for commercial gain; one count of reckless driving; and one count of failing to obey the lawful order of a peace officer. If convicted, Defendant Raef could face up to one year in the county jail and fines totaling $3,500.


In determining whether to file charges, the City Attorney’s Office considered, among other things, the Defendant’s disregard for the safety of others on the road and the Defendant’s prior criminal history.


The case represents the first prosecution in the State under AB 2479. In 2010, the California legislature passed AB 2479 (D-Karen Bass), which imposes additional penalties on paparazzi driving dangerously in search of photos or video images for commercial gain. Arraignment is scheduled for August 9 in Department 103 of the Van Nuys Superior Court.

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Tunnel floods, lanes close north of DTLA on 110 Freeway

tunnel stop

Photo via NBC LA

Two northbound lanes of the 110 Freeway north of downtown Los Angeles were shut down Wednesday after water started leaking from a busted pipe in the ceiling of a historic tunnel.

Two lanes of the northbound 110 Pasadena Freeway were closed Wednesdsay around 1 p.m. after a broken water pipe began to flood into a tunnel near Elysian Park, according to California Highway Patrol. A possible electrical hazard may also exist.

A Sig Alert was issued for the #1 and #2 lanes, and although the pipe was shut off, residual water leaking continued as officials waited for a piece of equiptment. The pipe issue was first noticed just after 11 a.m., according to CHP's incident report.

Detail Information  
1:36 PM 22

PER 15-10 - CAL TRANS 97 W/A HARD CLOSURE

1:02 PM 21 PER 15-10, MADE CONTACT W/CT SUPERVISOR; ENRT W/EQUIPMENT FOR HARD CLOSURE, WILL NEED A BREAK FRM ALPINE TO SET UP - WILL ADVS WHEN IN THE AREA
12:42 PM 20 SIGALERT ISSUED ON THE BLU
12:39 PM 19 CT CPY, WILL ADVS ETA
12:39 PM 18 PER CLR1: MADE CONTACT W/PARKS & REC ON PARK JEO FWY - THEY HAVE SHUT OFF THE PIPE SEVERAL HOURS AGO, THE REST OF THE WATER IS RESIDUAL, THEY ARE NOW WAITING FOR A CLAMP - THEY ARE AWARE OF THE SITUATION - INFO FOR TMC
12:38 PM 17 PLZ ISSUE A SIGALERT FOR THE #1 & #2 LANES - UNK DURATION
12:36 PM 16 PER 15-10 , THIS IS AN IMMEDIATE HAZARD - REQ CAL TRANS SUPERVISOR TO RETURN TO THE SCENE FOR A HARD CLOSURE - ETA WHEN AVAIL
12:34 PM 15 PER CT 73231, UNABLE TO GET TO CHP TO DISC PROBLEM // THIS HAS TO BE FIXED BY PARKS & REC AS IT IS ON THEIR PROPERTY // UNK ETA FOR PARKS & REC
12:34 PM 14 WAITING FOR CAL TRANS TO ADVS RE: ETA FOR CLOSURE AND WHETHER LANES CAN BE OPENED RE: LINE 18
12:32 PM 13 DOES THE UNIT WANT TO ISSUE A SIGALERT?
12:31 PM 12 15-10 IS 10-23 FOR CAL TRANS TO ADVS HOW THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE REPAIRS AND WHEN
12:30 PM 11 PER 15-82 - CAL TRANS LEFT THE SCENE, ARE THEY RETURNING FOR REPAIRS,, 1 & 2 LANES CURRENTLY BLOCKED UNTIL CAL TRANS ADVS STATUS OF THIS INCIDENT
11:54 AM 10 15-10 ADVSD 10-98 2 VEH 1182; 15-10 10-97 WITH 15-82
11:46 AM 9 1 AND 2 LN CLOSED , 3 AND 4 LN OPEN AND FIRE 1-07
11:28 AM 8 PER 15-82 THERE IS A CRACK FM CECIELING LEAKING LG AMOUNTS OF WATER FM THE ROOF AND WALL ; 15-82 REQING 1 FIRE UNIT TO RESP NOT TO RESP CODE 3 DUE TO POTENTIAL ELECTRIC HAZD ; 1039 LAFD
11:26 AM 7 DT ETA 15-20MINS
11:24 AM 6 1023, WILL ADVS ETA
11:18 AM 5 CALTRANS DO YOU HAVE AN ETA ; ELECTRICAL IS INVOLVED PER 15-S1
11:16 AM 4 PLS ADVS THE CALTRANS SUPVR 15-82 IS BLKING THE 1 LN IN TUNNEL #2 IF THE SUPVR CAN RESP TO 15-82 LOCATION
11:08 AM 3 PER 15-82 APPEARS TO BE A BROKEN WATER PIPE IN TUNNEL #2 LG AMOUNT OF WATER COMING FM THE ROOF AFFECTING THE #1 AND 2 LN AND ALSO THE OVER HEAD LIGHTS

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Trouble leaving Las Vegas: I-15 closed near state line after tanker spill

I-15 primm

Photo by Judy Baxter via Flickr Creative Commons

I-15 freeway near the California-Nevada state line.

A tanker crash and chemical spill near the California-Nevada border has forced a closure of the busy I-15 freeway in both directions. On a Friday. 

Highway patrol officials in Nevada and California say the early morning accident happened a few miles south of the state line town of Primm.

The Nevada Highway Patrol has southbound traffic shut down at Primm. The California Highway Patrol has northbound traffic stopped at Yates Well Road, Exit 291.

It wasn't immediately clear if anyone was injured.

UPDATE 11:33 p.m. - Officials says I-15 could be compromised all day in both directions as a result of the crash. Two northbound lanes have reopened at Yates Well Road, according to CHP Trooper Adam Croxton, but both southbound lanes remain closed at Primm. 

3,000 gallons of corrosive ferric chloride and a small amount of diesel fuel near the center median are being handled by a hazardous materials team.

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10 freeway shooting near Indio shuts down lanes Monday morning

Screenshot via Google Maps

Shots fired along the 10 freeway in Indio caused a shutdown of westbound lanes on Monday morning.

Indio Police Department spokesman Ben Guitron told KPCC that a vehicle collided into the center median on the I-10 near Jefferson and Indio Boulevard in a single vehicle accident -- a male driver was the only the person in the car. 

Two California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene around 5 a.m., and an officer involved shooting occurred that sent the driver of the crashed vehicle to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs.

Indio PD, still on the scene, will continue handling the investigation. It is unclear what caused the accident or what events led to the shooting. Both of the CHP officers involved are reported uninjured.

Guitron expects the scene to keep the freeway closed for at least another three or four hours.

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Angeles Crest body is possible gunshot victim

angeles crest highway

Photo by steve lyon via Flickr Creative Commons

Angeles Crest Highway

Authorities are keeping a portion of Angeles Crest Highway closed where a body found Thursday morning near the Angeles Crest Forest Fire Station is investigated by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department detectives as a possible shooting victim.

According to Craig Harvey, spokesman for Los Angeles County Coroner, the man, whose identity has not been released, may have suffered a possible gunshot wound, reports the La Cañada Valley Sun.

The California Highway Patrol, who shut down Angeles Crest Highway about three miles north of the 210 in the Angeles National Forest near La Cañada Flintridge, originally anticipated reopening the highway at 10:30 a.m., but it now thinks it will be closed for most of the day.

Detour information has been released for northbound and southbound traffic.

The man's body was discovered around 5 a.m. on the Angeles Crest Highway by a passing motorist who called 911. The location of the body was near the first turnout above the snow gate near mile marker 27, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Debra Herman, notes the Valley Sun.

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