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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Local man arrested on suspicion of violently killing cat

On Saturday, Oct 19, at 1:14 a.m., LBPD officers responded to the 400 block of Hill Street in reference to a male subject reportedly in the middle of the street screaming and yelling. 

LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said, “The first officer on scene observed a male subject screaming and yelling holding a cat in his right hand raised in the air. The officer gave the subject verbal commands, which he did not comply with. He immediately started walking, yelling unintelligible words.

“The officer continued to give verbal commands prior to deploying his Taser, which had no effect on the subject. The male continued to walk toward the officer,” Sgt Cota said. 

“A second officer arrived on scene and the male subject immediately started walking toward that officer with the cat in his hand. The male subject got to the hood of the second officers’ police vehicle and began hitting the cat on the hood of the vehicle.

“A second Taser deployment was administered, which had an effect on the subject as he fell to the ground. Additional officers arrived on scene and were able to take the subject into custody.”

The officers took the deceased cat away from the subject, Sgt Cota said.

“Officers were able to identify where the male subject lived and ultimately where he had been abusing the cat prior to the arrival of officers. We identified the male subject as Laguna Beach resident Joey Gabaldon.”

Gabaldon was transported to Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach for a medical clearance prior to being transported to OC Jail. 

Sgt Cota said, “Joey L Gabaldon, 52, was arrested for [alleged] animal cruelty, resisting an executive officer, and resisting arrest.”

Bail was set at $25,000.

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.

Suspicious couple in van reportedly harass students

On Wednesday, Oct 16, at 7:47 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 600 block of Park Avenue after a caller reported that her teenage son and his friend were approached by two people in an old maroon Ford Econoline van. 

Sgt Cota said, “The occupants in the van were described as a male and female in their 40s. The female passenger [reportedly] asked the boys how old they were and what they were going to dress up as for Halloween.”

According to the boys, they tried ignoring her. 

Sgt Cota said, “The woman [reportedly] asked the boys why they were ignoring her as the driver continued following them down the street. Their odd behavior frightened the boys, who ended up running away from the van. The boys contacted their parents and told them what happened.”

Officers later found the van in the area. Information from the van was obtained for further investigation.

Former PIMCO CEO and local Douglas Hodge pleads guilty in college bribery scandal

On Monday, Oct 21, Douglas Hodge, 61, Laguna Beach resident and former PIMCO CEO, one of the world’s largest money management firms, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court to conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with the largest reported college bribery scandal in history.

Hodge, who was accused in March of paying $525,000 to have his son and daughter admitted as purported football and soccer recruits to USC and Georgetown, had previously maintained his innocence.

According to media reports, Hodge said in a statement that he took “full and complete responsibility” for his crimes and apologized to his family and “deserving college students who may have been adversely impacted by this process.”

“I acted out of love for my children,” Hodges said, “but I know that this explanation for my actions is not an excuse.”

Former Laguna Beach residents, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 55, and his well-known actress wife Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. They still maintain their innocence.

More than 50 people were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice in the largest reported college admissions bribery scandal in U.S. history, dubbed “Varsity Blues” by the FBI.

-By Suzie Harrison

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