Pop Rocks

Pop Rocks: Is Anything More Embarrassing Than Getting Beat Up by Justin Bieber?

I'm still having a hard time becoming accustomed to the phrase "Justin Bieber: Bad Ass:"

Police investigating the criminal battery complaint against Justin Bieber have spoken to the alleged victim in the case and are now looking to talk to other witnesses to Sunday's altercation, including Bieber and girlfriend Selena Gomez.

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department confirmed to MTV News that police had interviewed the unnamed victim, a paparazzi photographer who claims that Bieber struck him after he tried to take pictures of the "Boyfriend" singer and Gomez at the Commons at Calabasas Shopping Center on Sunday afternoon.

In addition to the celebrity couple, investigators are looking for any other witnesses to the incident to help piece together a narrative of what went down during the scuffle. There has been no detailed information to date on what injuries were allegedly suffered by the photographer, who complained of pain and was transported by the Los Angeles County Fire Department to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.

Since we live in the land of the lawsuit, I'm waiting for the other shoe -- in the form of a massive lawsuit -- to drop. It has to be coming, right? Would anyone admit to getting his ass handed to him by Justin Bieber unless there was the potential for a massive payoff?

Biebs is hardly the first person to lose his patience with a photographer. A bald Britney Spears famously went medieval Mary Poppins on a paparazzo in 2007. Though in the context of her apparently fragile mental state, that YouTube clip looks more like a cry for help than...oh, who am I kidding, if someone dogged my ass with a camera every minute I was outside the house, I'd probably shove that umbrella up his ass and open it. Alec Baldwin broke a photog's nose back in 1995 (probably still pissed that Harrison Ford got the Jack Ryan franchise), and Sean Penn made the act of paparazzi-beating into something of an art form in the '80s and '90s.

And sometimes the camera guy is the one who gets the last laugh. I can't find it now, but I remember a pic of Mick Jagger lying on the ground after getting karate-kicked by a photog the Stones front man was threatening. Perhaps spending an hour or two practicing circle kicks might prove more productive than camping out in front of Kevin Federline's apartment.

But I keep coming back to the as-yet unnamed "victim" in the Bieber case...look, I don't buy into this puerile "pulling your man card" bullshit that folks like to throw around -- I like show tunes, deal with it -- but you have to be in a pretty dark place to "complain of pain" and allow the paramedics to take you to the hospital after an encounter with that haircut. What's that you say? The kid was training with Mike Tyson? I don't care. Justin Bieber may have Iron Mike's left hook, Tony Jaa's knee kick and Zinedine Zidane's head butt, but unless your femur is actually poking through the flesh of your thigh you dust yourself off, mutter an apology and get the hell out of there before too many iPhone pics end up on Twitter.

Is a Bieb-stomping the lowest of the low? Could your reputation survive an ass-whooping at the hands of someone who still can't grow a beard? Does anything else stack up in the mortification department? Naturally I have to look at cinematic examples.

Getting Caught Masturbating Depends on the catcher. Parents? Sucks, but they're likely to never bring it up again. Hot chick you've been fantasizing about since junior high? Not good.

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Getting Rogered by a Large Animal With this one, it's probably the level of exposure involved. For Nigel, the public knowledge was limited. Same with Mr. Beaks. Homer, on the other hand.

Your mileage may vary, but worst of all might be Getting Knocked the Fuck Out While Smack-Talking a Guy Two Feet Taller Than You. Sorry, Glenn Danzig.

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Peter Vonder Haar writes movie reviews for the Houston Press and the occasional book. The first three novels in the "Clarke & Clarke Mysteries" - Lucky Town, Point Blank, and Empty Sky - are out now.
Contact: Pete Vonder Haar