Justin Bieber has been slammed with a new civil suit for alleged assault and battery of a paparazzo in an [disputed] incident that first surfaced last year.
Jose Osmin Hernandez Duran, the photog behind the new lawsuit filed Wednesday in L.A. Superior court, is suing the Canadian pop star for unspecified monetary damages and intentional infliction of emotional distress and negligence.
The incident is said to have occurred on May 27, 2012 when a group of photographers and fans surrounded Bieber’s Mercedes Sprinter van, which was located in a parking lot at The Commons — a shopping center in the teen star’s Calabasas, California neighborhood.
According to Duran’s suit, Bieber was in the van with his then-girlfriend Selena Gomez and is said to have grown frustrated as he struggled to back out of the space due to the vehicle’s large size.
Duran’s suit does not mention the obstruction of the van by photographers and fans.
The paparazzo alleges the then 18-year-old singer opened his car door and yelled “F— off! Get out of the way.” It’s claimed Bieber then jumped out of his van and sprinted toward Duran before martial kicking him in the abdomen and punching him in the face. Duran then called 911.
Reuters reports Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney Mara McIlvain previously explained in a November report why the department declined to press charges against Bieber:
1: McIlvain said there was “insufficient evidence for proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that the teen star scuffled with Hernandez-Duran before leaving the shopping center with Gomez.
2: Officials called out to the scene, which included L.A County fire personnel who examined Duran and a L. A County sheriff’s Deputy, noted no apparent sign of injury or trauma to the paparazzo.
3: A later doctor’s evaluation indicated “minor swelling” to the photog’s right cheek and “redness” on his lower abdomen but labeled the injuries “superficial.”
4: McIlvain’s report did note that Bieber became frustrated when photogs obstructed his vehicle as he attempted to leave the parking lot, adding that the teen singer then left his van to charge at Hernandez-Duran but fell after taking a swing at the photographer’s camera Reuters notes.
An eyewitness told E! News at the time that Bieber and Gomez were “simply trying to move their vehicle out of its parking space, but couldn’t.” The witness added Bieber did get out of the car and there was an altercation, but added that he “fell on his face and lost his shoe.”
5: Witnesses at the scene told investigators they could not tell if Bieber had actually struck Duran, who continued to take photos of the singer after the incident.
6: McIlvain added there were no photos of a scuffle between Bieber and Hernandez-Duran, despite many photographers being present.
Fast forward to Duran’s new suit.
Despite a finding of a lack of substantive physical evidence in 2012, the photographer alleges the singer “delivered a martial arts-type kick … in the lower rib cage on the left side of his abdomen.”
Duran alleges Bieber continued to attack him and claims the force of the singer’s kick to his ribs is what caused the pop star to fall down. Duran’s suit claims Justin used his left fist to punch him on the right side of his face, before allegedly pushing him against a parked car.
According to E!, Duran states in his suit that at that point he said: “‘Justin, you don’t have to do this,'” and held up his hand in “a submissive gesture.”
The suit states Gomez and a woman nearby also urged Bieber to stop. It’s claimed the actress and the “Baby” star then drove off, only to return a few minutes later to look for Gomez’s cell phone.
Duran alleges Gomez told him, ‘”I’m sorry, I don’t know why he [Bieber] did that,'” which suggests there are plans to name the Spring Breakers actress as a witness.
According to the suit, Bieber’s then-bodyguard Moshe Benabou who would later sue the pop star for assault in a separate case, later arrived at the scene and said to Duran: “I taught him how to fight!”
However, these may be legally irrelevant to Duran’s case.
[Image via Huffington Post]