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Justin Bieber assault: Detectives probe if singer was provoked

June 1, 2012 | 11:41 am

Justin Bieber performs live at the Opera House on May 30, 2012 in Oslo, Norway.

Five days after an altercation involving singer Justin Beiber and a photographer, law enforcement officials were still trying to determine whether the incident amounted to a crime.

Detectives are investigating allegations by the photographer that the pop star struck him after he snapped photographs of the singer and girlfriend Selena Gomez at the Commons at Calabasas shopping center. 

The photographer complained of pain and was taken by the Los Angeles County Fire Department to a hospital, where he was treated and released, officials said.  

Law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, said Friday that detectives were trying to determine whether the photographer provoked the incident and whether Bieber's actions amounted to self-defense.

The sources said detectives had information from the photographer but had not talked to Bieber. Bieber has not made any public statements about what happened.

In a statement released Tuesday, the sheriff's department said detectives "are planning to interview Mr. Bieber." Law enforcement sources said Gomez is among the witnesses detectives would like to talk to.

A spokesman for Bieber did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact detectives at (818) 878-1808. Anonymous tipsters may contact Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477).


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Photo: Justin Bieber performs Thursday in Oslo, Norway. Credit: Ian Gavan / Universal/Getty Images