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Keyshawn Johnson not a Belieber in reckless driving

Published June 1, 2013 11:52 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Surely it's a sign of the universe about to implode — or at least an impending zombie apocalypse — when Keyshawn Johnson is the voice of reason in a controversy.

Los Angeles County Sheriff's detectives are investigating Justin Bieber for reckless driving after witnesses — including Johnson, a former NFL star and current ESPN analyst — complained about the pop-star's alleged freeway speeds in their gated community in north Los Angeles County.

Last Monday evening, Bieber allegedly drove his white Ferrari at freeway speeds in what is a 25 mph zone, Sheriff's spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

Johnson was outside with his 3-year-old daughter when Bieber zoomed by. Johnson was upset and got into his Prius — let the mental image of the 6-foot-4 diva receiver driving a Prius sink in for a moment — and followed Bieber to his nearby home. As the garage door was closing, Johnson put out his arm and stopped it, telling Bieber he wanted to talk about his reckless driving.

Whitmore said Bieber scurried into his home without speaking.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department received two calls and responded to the location. When they tried to talk to Bieber, however, they were also turned away.

"His security detail said he declined to talk to us based on the advice of counsel," Whitmore said.

Deputies interviewed two witnesses, including Johnson, and wrote up their report. They handed that off to detectives who are continuing to investigate the incident.

Deputies plan to send a reckless driving report to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office to consider filing misdemeanor charges in the next week or two.

Bieber's publicist did not return a call for comment, though a source close to Bieber tried to claim to HollywoodLife.com that rapper and Bieber friend Tyler the Creator was the one behind the wheel that night.

"Tyler was with Justin all weekend and he asked if he could take Justin's car for a spin," the source told the website. "Justin walked outside to grab the car and pull it into the garage once Tyler was back from driving around. But when he saw the police outside he walked back in because he didn't want to get involved since he wasn't the one driving. Tyler tried to tell police that he was the one driving but no one would listen to him."

Johnson declined official comment via ESPN, but denied that version of events in an interview with TMZ.

"I know the difference between a black kid driving a car and white kid driving a car. … I got biracial kids," Johnson said.

Police did not seem to buy it, either.

"Their eyewitness testimony to our deputies was definitive — not only the speed, not only the vehicle, but Mr. Bieber was sitting and driving in the driver's side seat," Whitmore said.

Prosecutors are also looking at whether to charge Bieber for battery in a separate incident involving a neighbor, who complained the pop star attacked him, spit on him and threatened him.