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Warmington

Justin Bieber's hometown won't abandon troubled star 0

By Joe Warmington, Toronto Sun

Star for Justin Bieber in his hometown of Stratford Tuesday January 14, 2014. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)

Star for Justin Bieber in his hometown of Stratford Tuesday January 14, 2014. (Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun)

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STRATFORD - 

One thing many agree on here is a dozen armed police officers storming Justin Bieber’s California house seems like a lot of firepower to crack open a case of some kids allegedly throwing eggs.

Gangster Bugsy Siegel in there?

Charles Manson or O.J. Simpson?

Or the teenage singer of songs like Baby and Boyfriend?

“He has not been arrested, nor exonerated,” Lieut. David Thompson, of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s office, told reporters Tuesday.

A rap like this can really stick to a person.

“I get that the eggs don’t seem that significant, but it does rise to the level of a felony,” Thompson said. “There is a victim in this case who has extensive damage done to their home. And that’s a serious incident.”

In the Canadian’s childhood town they were not buying the need for such a large deployment.

No more serious things happening out there in Los Angeles?

“It’s crazy,” said Susan Taylor. “It seems a little excessive over eggs.”

Egging is called Saturday night here, was the ‘yoke’ on the street in Stratford Tuesday. But what happened Jan. 9 seems to have the SWAT team scrambling in Calabasas, Calif.

“In these types of situations, we don’t know what we are going to confront,” explained Thompson of such a large operation.

Maybe Selena Gomez?

She has, after all, been reported to be hanging with The Biebs again and certainly was here in Stratford with him at the ice cream place Scoopers in 2012.

Maybe this hard case will whip up into a hot boil based on the evidence taken under warrant from the house?

So far though, initial stories of police arresting Bieber pal and rapper Lil Za for possession of cocaine were walked back to perhaps being a party drug known as Molly.

Still, neighbours have been reporting incorrigible behaviour from the 19-year-old singer and his entourage.

“We didn’t do this search warrant to send a message, that’s not what we do,” Thompson said. “But we hope maybe understanding the gravity of this will change some of the behaviour.”

It seems like a lot of taxpayer resources to encourage Bieber to grow up, but it sure would be nice if it worked.

His antics when he is out of Stratford seem to be escalating and his etiquette and decorum disintegrating.

“He keeps this up and he’ll be able to run for mayor of Toronto,” one guy in his hometown teased.

Maybe it’s time Justin came home for a time out?

People don’t like to hear bad news about him but also wonder how many more times can Bieber brush with the law before something drastic occurs. Despite the latest news, in the town he grew up in, Sun photographer Dave Thomas and I found they still think Justin is a good egg no matter how many dozens were allegedly thrown.

“I am still proud of him,” said Todd Patton, who is 10 years older but certainly knows of the kid who made it pretty big. “He’s awesome and was just having fun and being a kid.”

It was difficult to find a disparaging remark about the teen idol here.

Even on a day when law enforcement raided his Calabasas mansion 50 km northwest of Los Angeles with a warrant investigating $20,000 in damage a neighbour says Bieber and others caused by throwing eggs at his home.

Even after dozens of strange stories of everything from urinating in a bucket, spitting toward fans, asserting that Holocaust victim Anne Frank may have been a ‘Belieber,’ to battles inside and outside of nightclubs, on-again and off-again girlfriends, late arrivals at concerts, and friends charged for racing his Lamborghini.

There’s a lot of other stuff too. Not enough space to properly list it all, actually.

It’s certainly a long way from the days when Bieber would busk as a tiny, quiet, kid with a guitar on the third step of the legendary Avon Theatre.

A star with his name on it still sits on the sidewalk, just inches from where he used to play.

“He’s still liked here,” said Melissa Breese-Potts, who with teen pals Chelsea Hanna and Cassie Wright were outside the theatre Tuesday talking about no matter how big he has become, he is still a guy from Stratford.

They all said while they used to be “Beliebers,” they won’t abandon Stratford’s most famous son.

“He’s friendly,” said Wright.

Even on Willow Street where he was raised, his next-door neighbour not only said he never had any trouble with Bieber being involved in egging his house, he never had any trouble with him at all — adding he has always been “polite” to him.

This was also the experience of Taylor, who took a picture of him with his guitar on the same steps of Avon.

“He’s a kid with too much money,” she said. “But he’s still a very good kid at heart.”

That said, if Bieber keeps turning up the heat, how long before his egg gets cooked?

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