NEW YORK (Reuters) – The manager of teen pop star Justin Bieber was arrested on Wednesday for refusing to warn fans on Twitter about overcrowding at a shopping mall event, narrowly avoiding a “horrible disaster,” authorities said.
Scott Braun, 28, surrendered to police in Williston Park, New York, for having refused to send a message on the social networking Web site warning fans that an appearance by the Canadian pop star had been cancelled due to overcrowding, according to the Nassau County District Attorney.
The incident occurred last November when Bieber was scheduled to sign autographs at a clothing store when the event quickly became overcrowded, putting fans in danger of being “trampled,” the District Attorney said in a statement.
Police asked Braun to send out a Twitter message from Bieber’s account telling fans not to come, but Braun refused, even changing the account’s password so “he could control the event,” the office said.
“By refusing to send out the cancellation Tweet and preventing others from doing so, he blatantly ignored police directives,” said Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice in the statement, adding “a horrible disaster was averted.”
At the time, Island Def Jam Senior Vice President James Roppo was placed under arrest, also having refused to stop the event. Eventually, after a call from Roppo, Braun sent out the required Tweets, but too late.
Braun had “endangered the very fans who came to see his client,” Rice said. He faces up to one year in jail if convicted on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal nuisance, the District Attorney said.
The 16-year-old Bieber, who launched his career through posting videos of himself on YouTube, is currently performing in Chicago.
Bieber’s latest album “My World 2.0,” was released earlier this week after single track sales from his debut album exceeded 3.3 million, according to music tracker Billboard.
(Reporting by Basil Katz; editing by Christine Kearney and Bob Tourtellotte)