Sean "Puffy" Combs scored a legal victory Wednesday in his ongoing legal battle with Miami, as a local judge dismissed an April 14 moving violation charge against the rap impresario for bad scootering.
The rapper, who was spending his Easter vacaton in the city's South Beach district following his March acquittal on gun and bribery charges, was busted for illegally passing motorists and weaving in and out of traffic on a rented scooter along scenic Ocean Drive.
Judge Sheldon Schwartz ruled that the Puffster didn't have to pay a $62 fine because a scooter falls under the same legal category as mopeds, as opposed to motorcycles, which are governed by far more stringent laws.
"The reality is, Puffy didn't pass seven cars, and we had witnesses to prove it," Combs' attorney, Jayne Weintraub, told reporters following the hearing. Combs didn't need to appear at the hearing.
The Combs account contradicts testimony by Mario Rojo, the Miami Beach patrol officer who apprehended the hip-hopster. Rojo also initially charged Combs with driving with a suspended license, but that charge was later tossed when Puffy proved he had a valid New York license (apparently there was a computer error that failed to show he renewed the license).
But the legal victory doesn't exactly clear Combs' docket.
He's waiting on prosecutors at the Florida state attorney's office to decide whether he'll be charged following another scrape with the law in June involving a joint and a Ferarri.
The 31-year-old Bad Boy Entertainment mogul and aspiring designer was hanging outside Miami's Club Space in the early morning hours of June 9 when an off-duty officer approached and asked the rapper to move his silver Ferrari. Puffy tore away, blowing through a red light and nearly clipping a pedestrian before he stopped and ducked into a strip club to evade the cops. His passenger, 28-year-old Jovar Andrews (a cousin of rocker Lenny Kravitz), was arrested for marijuana possession after police found a joint in the car's ashtray.
Meanwhile, the New York contigent of Puffy's legal crew was busy in a Long Island courtroom, where the rapper was fined $350 for illegally clearing a protected vegetation area outside his Hamptons estate. The rapper allegedly ripped out sea-grass and blueberry bushes (a violation of conservation laws) to put up lights and a loudspeaker system. Puffy pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor and paid the fine after reportedly skipping out on nine court appearances.
"I couldn't get here sooner because I've been traveling and out of the country and very busy," he told the New York Daily News Tuesday. "But I paid the fine. I'm a great neighbor."
And apparently a giving one. While he doesn't know diddy about the environment, the well-heeled rapper, atoning for his eco-insensitivity, has coughed up $70,000 to restore the green space.