Justin Bieber has popped up in Panama following his DUI arrest and additional charges of resisting arrest without violence and driving with an expired license while allegedly drag-racing in Miami Beach on Thursday morning.
The superstar has been joined in the Central American idyll by his manager Scooter Braun, mentor Usher, childhood pal Ryan Butler, ex-“swagger” coach Ryan Good, Jason “Poo-Bear” Boyd – and presumably for her bikini-wearing skills – model Chantel Jeffries.
Bieber and Jeffries were spotted enjoying Punta Chame beach on Saturday by Panamanian website Telemetro.
While the presence of Bieber’s latest gal-pal raises eyebrows – Jeffries, 21, has a criminal record and rode shotgun in the rented yellow Lamborghini the teen star allegedly drag-raced in against his red Ferrari driving friend, R&B singer Khalil Amir Sharieff,19, on a blocked off residential street before both drivers were arrested just after 4 am – the en masse arrival of Team Bieber suggests a much needed summit is taking place.
Another photo of Justin at a beach in Panama pic.twitter.com/43BOSHnRhl
— JustinBieberCrew.com (@JBCrewdotcom) January 26, 2014
So far, social and local media have revealed Bieber, Usher, Braun, Good, Butler, Jeffries, and several unidentified others either relaxing on the beach, playing football, wakeboarding, jet-skiing, greeting fans, and one intimate embrace between Usher and the boy he met six years ago.
Aw how cute!! Usher and Justin hugging pic.twitter.com/LFGJS0DJ9q
— Hanne (@kidrauhl_hanne) January 26, 2014
A lot has changed since the early euphoric days of Bieber Fever, when the then 15-year-old burst onto the world stage in 2009 with his EP My World under the guidance of Braun and Usher after a deal was signed with Island Def Jam in October 2008.
From late 2012-13, a laundry list of bizarre, at times entertaining, questionable incidents on and off Bieber’s Believe world tour steadily morphed into increasingly concerning – and finally – alleged criminal behavior.
Coming off a poorly received Believe movie in 2014 and and critically appreciated but non chart-topping Journals album, Bieber’s 2014 quickly unraveled after he was accused by his neighbor of egging his house on January 9, allegedly causing $20,000 in damages.
Now a suspect in a felony vandalism and assault case, the incident touched off a police raid by Los Angeles authorities on January 14 and led to the arrest of Bieber’s live-in pal Xavier “Lil Za” Smith for felony drug possession.
One of the substances found has been confirmed as MDMA, also known as “Molly” – a form of Ecstasy, CNN reports.
— tate langdon (@thelumilarrys) January 26, 2014
my friend in nitro city met usher and scooter but they didn’t let her take a pic with justin — tate langdon (@thelumilarrys) January 26, 2014
Only Braun and Usher know how long they have been concerned about their protege’s eye-popping exploits, but it’s safe to assume an orange jumpsuit and a public bond hearing have a way of bringing things into focus.
In addition to the legal challenges now in play for Bieber, reporting since the raid has zeroed in on the singer’s failed field sobriety test and his alleged admission to arresting officers that he was taking prescription medication, smoked marijuana, and consumed one beer at some time before the alleged drag-race.
It’s been revealed Bieber’s blood alcohol levels after two later breath tests were estimated to be 0.014 and 0,011.
Both figures are below the general 0.08 legal limit and Florida’s 0.02 threshold for drivers under 21. TMZ also reports speeds reached by the supercars when spotted by police was 27 mph, not the 55-60 mph stated in the police report.
— tate langdon (@thelumilarrys) January 26, 2014
To The News, a source said, “Scooter and the team have been encouraging him to go to rehab but he [Justin] has denied there’s any issue.”
Similar quotes were obtained by E! News and Mail Online, who said the camp reportedly had a private jet on standby in Miami to bring the Canadian to Los Angeles directly after his release from jail on Thursday for a reckoning. In the end, Bieber left late Friday.
Hollywood Life also report Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, is in Panama.
Bieber’s father, Jeremy, who was reportedly seen partying with his son at Miami’s SET nightclub hours in the hours before the arrests, and allegedly helped block off the road for the alleged race, is reportedly seen as a hindrance to the camp’s efforts to get the teen singer into treatment.
According to Access Hollywood Live’s Billy Bush, the teen star was given an ultimatum by Braun following his arrest, telling him, “You’ve gotta go get help, or I’m done. I’m done with you.'”
Certainly Braun’s Twitter messages to Justin on the day of his arrest appeared to indicate matters had come to a head.
@justinbieber love you and i will act in the manner of someone who truly cares. that is all I have to say. thanks for all those concerned
— Scooter Braun (@scooterbraun) January 24, 2014
For his part, Bieber is back on social media following his post-arrest messages.
One of which showed his wave atop a SUV after he was released from a Miami Dade county jail after posting $2,500 bond. Alongside it is an image of Michael Jackson’s similar salute outside a Santa Babara courthouse in 2004 after he was arraigned on child molestation charges.
The late legend plead not guilty and was eventually found not guilty of all charges in 2005.
Justin posted a skateboard clip from Panama on Saturday captioned,”How could I not.”
This was followed by a shot of himself tagging graffiti and looking somewhat “The Young and The Restless” to-camera.
Amid the recreational in the sun it remains to be seen what develops from Usher, Braun, Mallette, Good, Butler, and Bieber’s Panama summit.
Bieber, Jeffries, And Friends, Hit Punta Chame Beach, Panama, January 25.
Bieber wakeboarding in Panama.