Justin Bieber fans around the world are out for blood after an apparent misunderstanding outside of Macy's in New York City on Thursday afternoon. A torrent of conflicting reports flowed out of Twitter during the event that an unidentified man had hopped a barrier and toppled the young pop star while he was promoting his new fragrance, "Someday." Bieber fans were waiting in line for tickets to an autograph signing in honor of the cologne's debut and evidently things got out of hand. Gossip sites reported immediately that Bieber had been "attacked by a crazed fan." The New York Daily News went with the headline "BIEBER BEATEN, attacked by man in Midtown." A Fox source said that Bieber recoiled at the would-be attacker, saying "What? What?"
It's very unclear what exactly happened besides the fact that police issued a 47-year-old man a citation for disorderly conduct. According to NBC New York, who actually spoke to the police:
Police set up a secure area for the teen but as he greeted fans, Bieber apparently went outside the secure area and towards crowds who then began pushing and shoving, sources tell NBC New York. As police forced the crowd of 400 people back, some broke through the metal barricades, law enforcement officials said. Police asked Bieber's security staff to pull him back into Macy's. As the security staff was going back inside, one of them had words with a police officer and was issued a summons, authorities said.
ABC backs up this account and reports: "The NYPD says no one was injured in the incident, although they are aware of witness reports that Bieber was knocked to the ground. The NYPD also does not believe Bieber was rushed by a fan. Instead, that person may have been a plainclothes officer trying to help."
Beliebers on Twitter, however, maintain that a middle aged man with pedophiliac tendencies tried to get Justin. They outed the alleged attacker as a man named Tom Petterson, and they're upset. Their threats are aggressive:
- "Tom petterson- we have your Facebook, and we know your adress..we will soon have your phone number, and know everything about you."
- "To this 'Tom Petterson' person... There's no need to hide, we will find you, and eventually kill you."
- "Dear Tom Petterson, this was your last day on earth. Sincerly a Belieber who will kill you tonight."
It's not clear if the man identified by the fans was an attacker posing as a member of the security detail, an actual member of Bieber's security detail, or not involved at all. They're tweeting photos of the incident, alleged photos of Tom Petterson, and addresses connected to the name Tom Petterson. Police have offered few details beyond the NBC report, but one thing is confirmed. If your name happens to be Tom Petterson, hide.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.