NOTE: Graphic language below
Justin Bieber took a swing at a fan from a moving car on Tuesday night in Barcelona and left the Belieber with a split lip.
The Sorry singer is currently touring Europe as part of his Purpose world tour.
TMZ reports that Bieber was being driven to the Palau Sant Jordi venue in the Spanish city when a fan stuck his hand through the open window of Bieber’s moving car, attempting to touch the star’s chest and face.
The video footage shows the What Do You Mean singer appearing to strike the fan in the face in response.
As Bieber’s car drives away, the fan can be seen touching his mouth before turning to face the camera and show his bloodied lip.
The man turned to friends immediately afterward, telling them, in Spanish, “He has just punched me,” before repeating the same sentence in disbelief to a nearby camera in a state of amazement as other fans crowd round him. “I touched his face like this and he went, ‘Boom,’” he explained.
According to a report in the Mirror, local police said they would not be automatically investigating the incident as it was “a misdemeanour rather than a crime” and that it was up to the victim to decide whether to make a formal complaint.
The fan admitted to radio station LOS40 that he has yet to decide whether he will press charges. He said he was “upset” by the incident and revealed he visited the hospital after the altercation, where he received an official report on his injuries.
Former Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, who’s had his fair share of fan mobs, thinks Bieber was justified in punching the overexcited man. While appearing on Good Morning Britain, Hasselhoff said, “I agree with you Piers, he should have punched that guy out. Fans are whacked out man. Come on, what’s that guy want, an autograph he can sell? He’s going to get his face punched out. You’ve got to treat us with respect and you’ll get respect back.”
This isn’t the first time the Love Yourself hitmaker has gotten into a physical altercation. He was filmed fighting a man twice his size in Cleveland in June, and he’s had multiple highly publicized run-ins with the paparazzi. There’s also the fight Bieber had with actor Orlando Bloom at an Ibiza restaurant and club in the summer of 2014, after allegedly greeting Bloom by saying, “what’s up, b**ch?”
Earlier this month, the Canadian superstar explained why having bodyguards is so important.
“Having security creates space for me, it creates boundaries, it creates a safe place for me,” Bieber told Rolling Stone. “As the fans get older and are knowing themselves more, they start understanding how to act and they actually want to act a little bit more sane, so that maybe they get my attention because at this point they’re screaming and super-overwhelming, it’s hard for me to connect with you.”
This comes after months of Bieber’s public frustration with his Beliebers. He told his “obnoxious” London concertgoers to “be quiet and listen while I’m talking” and caused an outrage when he dropped his microphone and stormed off stage mid-concert in Manchester after he demanded that his audience stop screaming between his songs.
He then wrote an open letter on Twitter explaining his actions, but later deleted it.
“People tend to want to shut you down. What I mean by that is … people try to twist things, some people don’t want to listen,” he wrote on Oct. 30. “But I simply feel like, if I didn’t use this platform to say how I truly feel, and if I didn’t use this platform to be the man that I know I am, and speak from what’s in my heart, then I’m doing myself injustice, and I’m not doing anybody in this audience any justice.”
Back in May, he announced he was done taking photos with fans.
“If you happen to see me out somewhere know that I’m not gonna take a picture. I’m done taking pictures,” he wrote on Instagram at the time. “It has gotten to the point that people won’t even say hi to me or recognize me as a human. I feel like a zoo animal, and I wanna be able to keep my sanity.”
He also deleted his Instagram account in August after asking fans to respect his then-alleged-girlfriend, Sofia Richie. The pair have reportedly split, but the singer hasn’t returned to the social media platform.
Bieber’s tour moves on to Lisbon, Portugal at the MEO Arena on Nov. 25.