The neighbor who filed a battery claim against Justin Bieber has been named.
Jeffrey “Jeff” Schwartz — 45-year-old ex-Vice President of The Walt Disney Company, founder of Autobytel and current President/CEO of Mota Motors Inc — is the man claiming the singer spat at and threatened to kill him during a heated argument on Tuesday in Calabasas, California.
Schwartz and his wife Suzie live in the same exclusive gated block on Prado Del Grandioso as Bieber. The couple maintain that the altercation between the 19-year-old and Schwartz arose after he confronted the pop star outside his home about his “unbelievably reckless” car racing — reportedly a Ferrari — in the residential street that morning.
It’s alleged that Bieber responded by shouting, “Get the f**k out of here,” before spitting in his face and saying, “I’m gonna f**king kill you.”
According to TMZ, Schwartz’s wife Suzie corroborates her husband’s version of events, and told the website “spitting on someone is unacceptable” while noting that the singer has not yet apologized.
The site also reports that a landscaper working on a property opposite Bieber’s home claims to have witnessed the singer spitting at Schwartz.
Sources close to Bieber and his security team have reportedly denied any spitting and threatening occurred, but admit that an argument took place.
Meanwhile, both Fox News and E! News have reported that other sources say Bieber did not spit at Schwartz, while Gawker revealed they received an email from another eye-witness who claims he did.
“The neighbor has complained Mr. Bieber spit on him and made some threats. Mr. Bieber’s people say that it did not happen. Obviously, our detectives will determine what happened and take appropriate action.”
Under California law spitting is considered “unwanted touching” and qualifies as a misdemeanor battery charge.
According to TMZ, law enforcement sources claim the case will be referred to the L.A. County District Attorney’s office and the battery allegations are being taken “seriously.” However, without credible witnessing of the alleged incident or an admission by Bieber — if one is warranted — it will be problematic for authorities to make a determination on either side.
The battery investigation is the latest drama in a turbulent two years for the singer. Numerous speeding citations, a paparazzo assault accusation in May — which was later dropped — and a “rough week” during the London leg of his Believe world tour, has led to speculation that the teen idol is out of control.
Defending himself in a new Us Weekly interview, Bieber said:
“The biggest misconception about me is that I’m a bad person. I get upset about that. I have a big heart. I want to be a good role model, but some people want to see fail,” adding, “I’m young and I make mistakes. That’s part of growing up.”
As yet there has been no comment from Bieber’s representative Melissa Victor on the battery investigation.