Police Files

Duo arrested for alleged DUIs after allegedly switching seats following hit-and-run accident

On Saturday, July 6, at 8:01 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Anita Street and South Coast Highway in reference to an alleged hit-and-run non-injury traffic collision.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “The witness observed the female and male switch seats as the suspect vehicle had fled the scene prior to officers’ arrival.” 

A vehicle description was provided by the RP and an officer located the vehicle and initiated a vehicle enforcement stop at Legion Street and South Coast Highway. 

Sgt Cota said, “The three occupants were all intoxicated and admitted to the minor traffic collision. The driver was arrested for DUI. The witness who observed the traffic collision responded to the scene and identified the female passenger and the driver during the original collision. She was also arrested for DUI and hit and run.”

Sgt Cota explained that the suspects were both driving at separate times. “The female was driving during the accident, then they switched and were stopped with the male driving.”

The female, a 27-year-old from Downey, was arrested for alleged DUI and for the hit and run. Bail was set at $3,000.

The male, a 30-year-old from Los Angeles, was arrested for an alleged DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

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.

Back-to-back earthquakes rock Laguna and the Southland, the biggest in SoCal in decades

Laguna Beach along with the rest of the Southland felt the impact of two heavy-hitting earthquakes, occurring within 36 hours of each other. Fireworks were felt early on Thursday, July 4, at 10:33 a.m., with a 6.4 magnitude earthquake in the Barstow area followed by an even greater 7.1 magnitude earthquake recorded nearby in the Ridgecrest area on Friday, July 5, at 8:19 p.m. According to reports, Friday’s rolling shakes were felt north to San Francisco and east to Las Vegas, as well as in Mexico to the south.

Luckily, no fatalities were reported, and despite the widespread damage, the quakes are not being called catastrophic. 

According to Sgt Cota, “Laguna Beach experienced significant shaking but no injuries or property damage was reported. Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach was checked to make sure they did not sustain any damage. Officers immediately began checking their assigned beats for poles, wires, or trees down. Also, the gas stations were checked for gas leaks, none reported.”

The two tremblers were the strongest earthquakes to hit the Southern California area in 20 years.

Police Files City Emergency Kit backpack

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Submitted photo

Laguna-specific emergency backpacks are available, be prepared

With all this new seismic activity, being prepared for emergencies has never been more important. To help in emergencies, a Laguna Beach-specific Emergency Kit Backpack has been created and is available for purchase. The kit includes an AM/FM hand crank radio with flashlight and cell phone charger, a 4-in-1 gas and water utility shut off tool, glow sticks, bio-hazard bags, nitrile gloves, a N95 mask, 54-piece first aid kit, duct tape, emergency poncho, solar blanket, and personal hygiene kit. 

The kit also contains emergency plan templates and disaster-specific information. Each red backpack features an official City of Laguna Beach seal.

Laguna Beach specific Emergency Kit Backpack can be purchased for $50 on the City’s website via or in person at the Community and Susi Q Center, 380 Third Street, during normal business hours.

During an earthquake, Earthquake County Alliance advises to “Drop, Cover, and Hold. According to their website ( 

--DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees. This position protects you from being knocked down and also allows you to stay low and crawl to shelter if nearby.

--COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand. If a sturdy table or desk is nearby, crawl underneath it for shelter. If no shelter is nearby, crawl next to an interior wall (away from windows). Stay on your knees; bend over to protect vital organs.

--HOLD ON until shaking stops. Under shelter: hold on to it with one hand; be ready to move with your shelter if it shifts. No shelter: hold on to your head and neck with both arms and hands.

-By Suzie Harrison