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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Sea lion found shot by unknown suspects is humanely euthanized after rescue efforts fail

Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) rescued a female California sea lion in distress from the Wedge in Newport Beach on the morning of Monday, Dec 16, after being reported by Newport Beach Animal Control. 

During her check-in, she was observed to have two distinct wounds, one of which was a draining abscess on her dorsal back causing her pain and discomfort and limiting her ability to move normally. While conducting radiographs to obtain further information on the extent of the animal’s injury, her chest indicated two gunshots, most likely from a pellet rifle. 

The one-and-a-half-year old sea lion, named Mandalorian by her rescuers, was carefully monitored throughout the next week, and despite treatment, her health continued to decline. At that point, a difficult decision was made, and the animal was humanely euthanized on December 22. 

Police Files Sea Lion

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of PMMC

Mandalorian, a California sea lion found shot by unknown suspects; unfortunately, she had to be euthanized due to the extent of her injuries

A necropsy revealed that one of the bullets impacted between the rib and adjacent vertebrae. This entry wound most likely became infected, leading to severe muscle necrosis around the impact site and an accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity. The second gunshot was lodged in the musculature between the ribs. 

The gunshot pellets have been recovered and will be sent to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Marine Fisheries Service Office of Law Enforcement (NOAA NMFS OLE) for further investigation. 

“Unfortunately, what we saw is taking place up and down the Pacific Coast. These are disgusting and intentional acts, many of which are pre-meditated. We know there are many out there that feel like they are competing with the sea lions for the same resources. However, there’s a pathway for us to cohabitate with these precious marine mammals and shooting them is not the way,” said Peter Chang, CEO at PMMC. 

The penalties for killing a sea lion can be up to a year in prison and or a fine of up to $25,000.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information or to make a donation, call (949) 494-3050 or visit

Three women allege man aggressively approached them and solicited sex

On Tuesday, Jan 7, at 9:09 p.m., three separate female residents on Cypress Drive reported that, “an unknown male aggressively approached them and solicited sex,” according to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota

According to Sgt Cota, “Officers searched the area and contacted homeless subject Robert Oxier, 38. He was arrested for disorderly conduct: lewd conduct in public.” 

Bail was set at $1,000.

Man arrested for allegedly throwing objects/substances at a vehicle

On Monday, Jan 6, at 4:49 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to a patrol check for a male subject walking into the roadway and allegedly kicking parked vehicles. 

Officers located the subject as he continued walking northbound nearing the intersection of Cleo Street and South Coast Hwy. 

According to Sgt Cota, “Officers observed the subject throw objects at a few passing vehicles. The subject was ordered to stop and he complied. Additional officers arrived and detained him in handcuffs.” 

Sgt Cota said, “The subject was being uncooperative and would not provide his name to officers. He was eventually identified as Matthew Joseph Britton, 31, and arrested for violation of throwing objects/substances at a vehicle.”

Bail was $20,000.    

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.

Animal Services Officer saves seagull caught in fishing line

On Wednesday, Jan 8 at 2:25 p.m., an Animal Services Officer responded to Fisherman’s Cove beach in reference a bird trapped on the balcony of an apartment building. 

According to Sgt Cota, “A seagull was hanging by fishing line from the roof of an apartment in the 600 block of Cliff Drive. The ASO contacted the building manager and they located the apartment unit to access the seagull.”

Sgt Cota said, “The bird was entangled in fishing line. The bird was secured in a towel by the ASO and the fishing line was cut to free the bird.”

The ASO transported the seagull to the Wetlands Wildlife Center for treatment.

-By Suzie Harrison


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