MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Justin Bieber was a busy boy the third week in January during a visit to South Florida.
He got arrested for allegedly drag racing a very expensive rental car on Miami Beach while under the influence of booze, pot and Xanax.
He had an unscheduled televison performance – his bond court appearance.
He celebrated a joyous release from jail, hopping atop his SUV to flash a dazzling smile and wave at a crowd of adoring “Beliebers.”
And three days earlier, he got VIP treatment from Opa-locka police. Or did he?
Opa-locka officials told CBS4 News on January 22nd that Bieber’s entourage was escorted from the Opa-locka Executive Airport by marked police cars in what was a case of inappropriate, special treatment. The city confirmed the January 20th event, first reported by the celebrity news outlet TMZ.COM.
“This escort that was done for Justin Bieber was unauthorized,” Asst. City Manager David Chiverton declared at the time. Bieber was seen at Club Mansion on South Beach that night, and also was reportedly at a North Miami-Dade strip joint, stuffing wads of hundred dollar bills into the hands of nude nymphettes.
Three police officers were suspended as an investigation was launched.
But a month later, the union representing the police officers is telling CBS4 News what the officers have told their lawyers. It wasn’t “The Biebs” who got the squad car treatment.
“We know for a fact that they did not escort Justin Bieber. That much we know,” said Police Benevolent Association President John Rivera in an interview with CBS4’s Gary Nelson.
But what of the brass at Opa-locka? Are they aware the officers have denied giving Bieber an escort, or who the recipient of the lawmens’ largess was?
“No, not at this time. We’re not clear on that. It’s still an open investigation,” Chiverton, the asst. city manager said Tuesday.
The city also can’t say that it was not Bieber who got the black-and-white escort.
“For all we know, it still may have been Justin Bieber,” Chiverton said.
The obvious question: If Bieber wasn’t the beneficiary of the purportedly bogus escort, then who was?
The union is being coy on that, saying it knows but can’t say as yet. Instructions from the lawyers.
“It’s certainly not a celebrity,” said Rivera. “I wouldn’t classify him as a celebrity.”
The city says if the “him” referenced by the union president wasn’t Justin Bieber, it makes no difference.
“It was an unauthorized escort,” Chiverton said. “Neither the police chief nor the administration authorized it.”
The three cops, Scherry Thompson, Hassan Hosein and Mackendzy Jean-Baptiste, remain suspended with pay as the mystery of who was behind the tinted windows of the escorted SUV remains just that – a mystery.
Previous efforts to reach Bieber’s representatives for comment have been unsuccessful.