Police Files

Local grocery store employee reportedly assaulted, punched in the face

On Saturday, June 15, at 9:56 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Whole Foods, at the 200 block of Broadway Street, in reference to a felony battery investigation. The victim was a male employee. 

“Without instigation, the RP said the suspect ran towards the victim and punched him in the face,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The suspect fled the scene and was located shortly after in the 500 block of S Coast Highway. The force of the punch fractured the victim’s nose.” 

The suspect, Fernando Ramirez, 29, of San Clemente, was positively identified by an independent witness and the victim. He was subsequently taken into custody for felony battery.

Bail was set at $20,000.

Group of juvies reportedly assaults developmentally disabled adult

On Wednesday, June 12, at 2:09 p.m., LBPD officers responded to West Street Beach for the report of an assault that allegedly occurred earlier at the 31500 block of Bluff Drive.

“When officers arrived, the parties had been separated and they found approximately 13 juveniles and one adult had been involved,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. “The fight was alcohol-induced and the victim was a 20-year-old developmentally disabled adult.”

Sgt Cota said, “The altercation began when a group of about thirteen 16-year-olds was hanging out on the beach. The 20-year-old walked over and attempted to mix in with the group and a fight ensued.”

According to Sgt Cota, all of the involved parties were identified and a report was taken. All of the juveniles were picked up by their parents and counseled.

Minor injuries were treated at the Lifeguard Tower. No medics were needed.

Local transient arrested after breaking into home

On Saturday, June 15, at approximately 3:06 a.m., LBPD officers were conducting a foot patrol in the area of Marine Way. The officers were doing resident checks due to the recent burglaries in the area. 

“While checking a residence in the 1000 block of Marine Way, officers noticed a broken pane of glass on the upper portion of the side kitchen door,” Sgt Cota said. “Officers made entry into the residence and eventually located a male subject in one of the upstairs bedrooms.” 

The subject was detained and later identified as local transient Daniel Moretti. Moretti admitted to throwing a rock through the window in order to gain entry to the residence, Sgt Cota said. 

Daniel James Moretti, 40, of Laguna Beach, was transported to LBPD for booking and charged with vandalism and trespassing.

Bail was set at $20,000.

Local woman threatened by scammers who said they would “cripple her” 

On Friday, June 14, at 8:19 a.m., a local woman reported to LBPD that she had received threatening phone calls. The calls began at 6 a.m. from an unidentified person stating they were the Publishers Clearing House and requested she send them money. 

According to police records, the subject told her that she had won a prize, a couple of million dollars. But in order to receive her prize she was asked to send money.

 “When the RP said no, she hung up. She received approximately 10 more calls and at one point they told her if she did not send the money, they would cripple her,” Sgt Cota said. 

While there was no loss of money, LBPD took action and added extra patrol checks for her address.

Dog snatched by coyote on Catalina Street

On Saturday, June 15, at 7:52 a.m., LBPD received a report regarding a coyote attack at the 900 block of Catalina Street.

According to police records, the RP’s brown dog was taken by a coyote early that morning. The RP stated that they had a video of the dog being snatched, and wanted to inform LBPD and also emailed Animal Services officers. 

 According to the Dog Tales website (, suggestions to avert a coyote attack on your canine include not feeding coyotes or any wild animals; avoid off-leash walks in high risk areas; pick up the pooch’s poop, as it can attract predators; always be there and ensure your pet is safe at all times; build a fence at least 8 feet by 12 feet, as coyotes are expert climbers; stay calm if you encounter a coyote while with your dog, at the same time wave your arms and stomp your feet; stick to lighted areas or carry your own light source, as coyotes are less likely to be in well-lit areas; clean your garden, so there is nowhere for predators to hide; report any sightings; and spread the word. 

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison