Justin Bieber’s reported worry over the seizing of his cell phone during an egging-related police raid at his Calabasas, California home on Tuesday may ease a little after a clear statement emerged Thursday from Lt. David Thompson, the lead detective in the ongoing felony vandalism and assault case.
“He doesn’t have to worry about drug talk or naked pictures. It’s pretty widely known the kid smokes weed. A search warrant based on drug talk is not going to happen,” Lt. Thompson told the New York Daily News.
The statement comes after TMZ claimed the 19-year-old was stressed over possible naked photos, references to drugs, or any other private and potentially compromising information on his cell phone being leaked into the public domain.
A source told E News! “Justin’s people are really worried that [the sheriff's department] have his phone.”
The Lieutenant didn’t confirm whether such images or content was on Bieber’s phone – which was taken directly out of his hands – but instead sought to reassure the star that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation is only interested in data relating to a neighbor’s accusation alleging the singer hurled raw eggs at his house last week.
Of this, Thompson continued:
“And the whole world has naked pictures on their phones. With Justin Bieber – at his level – it might be people we know, so it might be a concern for him. But he doesn’t have to worry. We’re looking for images or information related to the egging. Nothing else is getting out. It’s safe in the hands of law enforcement.”
The neighbor, Jeffrey Schwartz, alleges he and his 13-year-old daughter watched from their balcony as the teen singer threw eggs at the front of their house on Thursday, January 9.
The attack reportedly caused an estimated $20,000 in damage.
Reuters previously reported Thompson said the damages were high because the exterior of Schwartz’s home was made of “imported wood and brick.” Other reports factor in allegedly egg-damaged exterior Venetian plaster, paint finish, and doors.
One result of the high estimate was the raising of the egging incident from misdemeanor vandalism and assault to a felony. Because of this, Bieber was served with a felony search warrant during a raid that consisted of 12 investigators, 9 patrol cars, 4 helicopters, and a battering ram.
“Justin was worried about our search video getting out too. But I told him it was the law, and that it wasn’t going to get out either,” Lt. Thompson said, adding that he personally attended to the superstar while he was detained in his kitchen during the 8 am raid.
“We’re not doing some big sting on Justin Bieber,” Thompson added. “We didn’t go opening containers and pulling out drawers. This was about the egging.”
During the search, one Xavier “Lil Za” Smith, 20, was arrested on suspicion of felony drug possession over illicit substances.
“It was right in our face,” Thompson said, adding the drugs were found in his bedroom and confirming testing is underway.” “He [Lil Za] came out of the bedroom, and the drugs were with his belongings in the bedroom. He admitted they were his.”
“He said, ‘That’s mine,’” the lieutenant added.
The detective said the drugs, initially thought to be cocaine, were more likely to be “Molly,” a powdered form of MDMA (Ecstasy) and Xanax, for which Smith did not have a prescription.
The aspiring rapper and actor was charged at Lost Hills sheriff station on a $20,000 bail tab. He was subsequently charged with felony vandalism after he allegedly demolished a phone in his holding cell, the Daily News notes. His bail was reportedly reset to $70,000.
Recent tweets posted by Lil Za complaining that he was treated unfairly because he is black was firmly refuted by Thompson.
“If he’s trying to say he was singled out because he’s African American, that’s not true,” he said.
“The only person in that house who wasn’t African American was Justin. Everyone was cooperative and dignified, seated around the kitchen table while I answered their questions.”
After revealing the body count in the Bieber’s $6.5 million house included four people who left before the search warrant was served, seven who were detained and another individual who arrived during the raid, Thompson addressed overkill criticisms.
“This is something that’s probably done by every frat brother on every college campus every weekend. But Justin’s problem is that he doesn’t live in a frat house, he lives around upscale, prominent people who don’t want their houses damaged.”
The officer confirmed investigators would be examining surveillance material removed from the singer’s home security system and said results would be revealed in the next few days. He said it wasn’t yet known if it “covers the time of the alleged egging.”
E! News reports an insider said police had to remove the entire video machine as it was not possible to make copies. But other reports state only hard drives were taken.
As for Jeff Schwartz, The News quotes a source close to the neighbor who said of Bieber:
“He’s a little punk head. He thinks these are funny pranks, but they’re not. Parties that go [on] until 5 am with the music blasting aren’t funny in a family-oriented neighborhood. He needs to own up to what he is doing. He’s got major issues.”
Bieber’s representatives have as yet made no comment on the egging or vandalism and assault investigation.