Justin Bieber has been praised as a “good kid” and “compassionate” by the paparazzo accidentally clipped with a pickup truck the pop superstar drove as he left a City Church service in Beverly Hills Wednesday night.
PEOPLE reports Lt. Scott Dowling of the Beverly Hills Police Department (BHPD) confirmed the accident occurred outside the Saban Theater — where the event was held — at 9:24 p.m.
The accident was captured on video. Footage shows the Biebs’ truck was swarmed by paparazzi as he left the church.
ABC7 Eyewitness News noted that as Bieber walked out of the event, a throng photographers were waiting with flashing cameras.
X17, Entertainment Tonight, and multiple eyewitnesses report the pop icon was spotted driving slowly when his truck hit a pap.
Justin’s front right side of the truck clipped the man before he unwittingly rolled over part of the photog’s lower body.
Security guard Jeff Osborne, who was escorting Bieber out of the church at the time, recalled what he saw to the Vulture site.
“He [Bieber] got to his truck, he slid over to the driver’s side, and he started to pull out slowly — it was slowly, and paparazzi started jumping in front of the truck,” Osborne said.
The guard continued, “I think the tire just hit the side of his [the pap’s]leg. I don’t think he ran over him.”
He added. “I don’t think it was too severe because as we were looking at it he was still looking at him, he was still moving his toes… but he was not taking pictures.”
Photos and video show Justin immediately sprang out of his truck once he realized he had accidentally struck someone.
Justin ran around to check on the pap — who has since been identified as Maurice Lamont — and spoke to him reassuringly as the injured man lay on the ground.
Meanwhile, while the Biebs tended Lamont, spectators and paps stood around recording and taking pictures.
— KTLA (@KTLA) July 27, 2017
Footage showed Bieber kneeling down while repeatedly asking Lamont, “Is there anything we can do to help you?”
The photog told the singer that he was fine and even joked to the star that something was bound to happen at some point.
During their exchange, Lamont told the Biebs, “I always liked you man. You’re a good guy. It was just bad timing.”
To his great credit, Justin was seen on footage urging the paps who stood around taking pictures to put down their cameras and help.
ABC7 Eyewitness News report Lamont was treated at the scene by paramedics then moved on a stretcher into an ambulance with his leg in a cast.
Police officers told media that the 57-year-old photog incurred non-life threatening injuries and was taken to Cedars-Sinai hospital.
“The driver of the vehicle stayed and spoke to the officers and they conducted the investigation,” the BHPD watch commander told Entertainment Tonight, referring to Justin.
Justin stayed until paramedics arrived and spoke to attending police and reportedly cooperated fully with officers.
Bieber wasn’t cited or arrested. Reports state Beverly Hills police also reportedly do not believe any criminal activity took place in the situation.
Inevitably, TMZ obtained footage of Lamont in hospital. The paparazzo filmed a message from his bed before he was taken in for X-ray exams.
The lensman had only good things to say about Bieber.
“He’s a good kid though,” Lamont said, before sharing his view that the singer’s pickup truck was allegedly “too big” for him to see out of at the time of the accident because of an alleged “slope” it was on.
It is likely Justin and Lamont will reach a financial agreement and be able to stay out of civil court.
The photographer ran over by Justin Bieber: “He’s a good kid, accidents happen.” pic.twitter.com/uc6rKuFWc5
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) July 27, 2017
It is no secret that Justin is routinely followed by packs of paparazzi. This is especially true in L.A.
That said, it is evident that the intensive stream of TMZ-led gossip stories and daily pap-grilling of the icon about his reasons for recently canceling 14 remaining concert dates on Bieber’s “Purpose World Tour” encouraged L.A. paparazzi to harass the singer even more than usual.
The timing of the increased pap attention syncs up with the explosion of gossip news articles — with TMZ leading the charge — claiming Bieber canceled his tour because he is “dedicating his life to Christ” through the Pentecostal Hillsong Church.
One Australian “Showbiz” reporter even went so far as to claim the pop prince may be starting up his own church, according to conveniently vague “insiders.”
As a result, Bieber has been followed by paps daily since returning to L.A. from his tour in Europe and constantly harassed with questions as to why he abruptly canceled the few remaining dates.
On the night of the accident, showbiz reporter Kate Forrester was one of many online users who live tweeted the brouhaha, despite not being at the site.
Apparently ‘every pap in LA’ was on Justin Bieber tonight at the church post tour cancellation. So there should be footage.
— Katy Forrester (@katyshowbiz) July 27, 2017
Revealing she was being given information from someone at the scene, Forrester claimed Lamont used to work for TMZ.
She went on to reveal that “Apparently ‘every pap in LA’ was on Justin Bieber tonight at the church post tour cancellation [sic].”
A little later, Forrester offered her take on video of the incident.
She noted, “Just seen the video drop on TMZ, really not sure if the guy has a case to be honest. Bieber wouldn’t have seen s***. Gloria Allred!”
So, would the accident have happened in the first place if paparazzi weren’t swarming the Biebs?
Definitely not. That, in itself, should be a sobering thought for Bieber’s fans and his management.
While an invasive — mostly unethical — media, some of Bieber’s fans and pop culture are clearly determined to mock, criticize, and deconstruct the superstar and his faith, it’s worth remembering that Bieber’s life is his to live.
After beginning his professional career as a child, then touring for six out of the eight years of his career to date, Bieber deserves to be allowed to rest after his long tour — and amid an over-scrutinized life.
To read more about Justin Bieber’s compassion during his career and why he needs a break, see below.
Justin Bieber Donates $2.2 Million To Build Schools In Developing Countries, Continues Make-A-Wish Support https://t.co/azNRRHTJ96
— Inquisitr Showbiz (@IQShowbiz) April 9, 2017
— E! News (@enews) July 25, 2017
[Featured Image by Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images]