Justin Bieber turns himself in to Toronto police to face assault charge, then leaves

On the same day a petition to have him deported back to Canada topped 100,000 signatures, teenage singer Justin Bieber returned to his home country and turned himself in at a police station in downtown Toronto, Toronto police confirmed to E!. 

Nathan Denette / The Canadian Press via AP
Musician Justin Bieber is swarmed by media and police officers as he turns himself in to Toronto police Wednesday night.

Bieber, 19, is facing a December assault charge regarding an incident with a Toronto limousine driver.

"The Toronto Police Service requested that Justin Bieber appear in Toronto today to face an allegation of assault," the singer's attorney said in a statement issued to E!. "We anticipate that this matter will be treated as a summary offense, the equivalent of a misdemeanor in the United States. Our position is that Mr. Bieber is innocent. As the matter is now before the court, it would be inappropriate to address the specifics of either the allegation or of our defense at this time."

In a statement, Toronto police said the incident that got Bieber arrested took place on Dec. 30 at approximately 2:50 a.m. ET, after a limousine picked up a group of six people outside a nightclub. 

Police said an altercation then occurred between one of the passengers and the driver of the limousine during the trip to a hotel. A man struck the limousine driver on the back of the head several times, officials said. The driver then stopped the limousine, exited the vehicle and called police.

The man who struck the driver left the scene before police arrived, the statement read.

Cameras captured Bieber exiting a black SUV surrounded by yellow-coated Toronto police as photographers scrambled for shots and young fans screamed and took photos with their camera phones. He was quickly escorted into the station, briefly stood at the front desk surrounded by police, and then disappeared from view.

Bieber has been making headlines for other offstage antics recently. On Jan. 23, he was arrested in Miami Beach, Fla., for DUI, resisting arrest without violence, and driving with an expired license. And the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is still investigating the singer for an incident where eggs were thrown at the mansion owned by Bieber's Calabasas, Calif., neighbor, reportedly causing $20,000 of damage.

In an apparent homage to the egg incident, at least one of Bieber's fans crowded around the Toronto police station was heard to say she had brought eggs to the station.

But there’s a little bit of good news in for the beleaguered pop star. A lawsuit filed by a Los Angeles photographer who claimed that Bieber directed his bodyguards to attack him and steal his camera’s memory card in June was dismissed on Tuesday.

Bieber was later released and allowed to leave the Toronto police station, according to E!.

He is scheduled to appear in court on March 10, police said.