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Police Files

Male nanny charged with additional child molestation felonies, faces 490 years to life for allegedly molesting boys as young as four

A man who served as a male nanny for families across Southern California. including in Laguna Beach, was charged with additional felony child molestation charges on Friday, Aug 30 for allegedly victimizing 12 young boys under his care. The boys ranged in age from 4 to 10 years old.

Matthew Antonio Zakrzewski, 30, of Costa Mesa, was arrested on May 17, 2019 by LBPD detectives at a local airport after deplaning an international flight.

In early May 2019, a Laguna Beach couple had reported to LBPD that their babysitter, Zakrzewski, had touched their 8-year-old son inappropriately and was concerned for the safety of their son and potentially other children.

Police Files Zakrzewski

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Matthew Zakrzewski faces 490 to life for allegedly molesting over a dozen young boys under his care, including a Laguna Beach victim

The couple had hired Zakrzewski to care for their son through one of his several babysitting websites. LBPD’s Major Crimes & Intelligence Unit immediately opened an investigation, which led to the identification of a second 7-year-old victim in Los Angeles, and 10 more boys from across Southern California.

“These parents were led to believe that they could trust this man with the most precious thing in their entire world – their children,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “Instead, he preyed on these innocent boys and violated that trust in a vile and sadistic way.”

Zakrzewski was originally charged with three felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, and one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10. He was also charged with one felony count of possession of child pornography.

Zakrzewski now faces a total of 25 felony counts, including 19 felony counts of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor under the age of 14, one felony count of oral copulation of a child under the age of 10, and one felony count of possession of child pornography. 

He also faces one felony count of using a minor for sex acts, two felony counts of distributing pornography to a minor for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct, and one felony count of an attempted lewd or lascivious act with a minor under the age of 14.

LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said, “Our detectives have worked tirelessly on this investigation and will continue the investigation until every child victim is identified. This case has impacted every detective in our division as well as myself. LBPD Detectives will continue working in partnership with the OCDA to make sure the suspect, Zakrzewski, is held accountable for each of these serious offenses.”

Sgt Cota added, “We are at 20 victims as of this morning [Tuesday] and expected to go up.”

Zakrzewski pleaded not guilty to the original charges in May and pleaded not guilty to the additional charges filed against him on August 30. He is currently being held at the Orange County Jail on $1.25 million bail.

Prosecutors allege the crimes were committed between Jan 1, 2016 and May 17, 2019. He faces 490 years to life if convicted on all charges.

Investigators asked for the public’s help in locating any other potential victims. As the investigation progressed, additional victims were identified through video evidence and tips from the public, resulting in additional charges being filed against Zakrzewski.

Anyone who has information related to this investigation or any other unreported incidents involving Zakrzewski is urged to call the Laguna Beach Investigations Division line at (949) 715-1300.

Zakrzewski is scheduled to appear in court on November 8 at the Harbor Justice Center. Senior Deputy District Attorney Heidi Garrel of the Sexual Assault Unit is prosecuting this case.

Elderly man plows truck into local resident’s bedroom

On Wednesday, Aug 28, at 12:07 p.m., LBPD officers responded to a traffic collision in the 500 block of Mystic Way.

According to Sgt Cota, “An elderly male subject was parking his vehicle when he confused the gas and brake. The driver’s truck went down an embankment and crashed into a house. The driver was uninjured and there was moderate damage to the vehicle and residence.”

According to police records, the “vehicle entered a bedroom.”

At one point the driver, who lives in the neighborhood, was trapped in his vehicle, but he was able to get out.

According to LBFD Engineer/Paramedic Pat Cary, the man “was evaluated by paramedics on Engine 1 and he signed a medical release form [indicating he was not injured].”

LBPD helps man get his valuables back after suspect tries selling stolen items at local restaurant

On Thursday, Aug 29, at 5:29 p.m., LBPD officers staged a sting at a local restaurant, where a suspect was allegedly in possession of and trying to sell the victim’s valuables, which had been stolen.

According to Sgt Cota, “Officers were informed that the RP had items stolen from his vehicle in Costa Mesa and located the subject who was trying to sell the stolen items.”

Sgt Cota said, “He arranged a meeting at Maro and wanted officers on scene to facilitate the return of his items. Officers arrived contacted the suspect, who had the stolen items in his possession.”

According to police records, some of the stolen items include a MacBook retina 13-inch, a Smith & Wesson combat knife, Maui Jim sunglasses, two Ray-Ban Aviators, and Wayfarers sunglasses.

The total value was approximately $3,000. 

“The suspect, Santa Ana resident David Alan Gilmore, 30, was arrested for violation of Burglary and Possession of Stolen Property,” Sgt Cota said.

Bail was set at $20,000.

Woman allegedly threatens to stab Public Works employee with a pencil, also throws trash at him

On Friday, Aug 30, at 7:31 a.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to Main Beach for an alleged threats report, according to Sgt Cota.

The alleged victim was a City of Laguna Beach Public Works employee who was emptying trash cans on Main Beach. 

According to Sgt Cota, “Amber Castillo [allegedly] threw an aluminum can at the victim and then later threatened to stab him with a pencil. Amber Kristen Castillo, 41, was arrested for Criminal Threats.” 

According to police records, “Castillo [allegedly] became angry after asking Public Works for bags and was throwing trash at him.”

Castillo was booked and transported to OC Jail.

Bail was set at $50,000.

According to Stu News Laguna records, Castillo has been arrested 12 times by LBPD in the last 12 months.

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