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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Motorcyclist sustains major injuries after SUV reportedly makes illegal U-turn

On Friday, Feb 14, at 3:09 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to an injury traffic collision on North Coast Highway at San Joaquin Street. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “The collision was caused by a Mazda SUV that [allegedly] made an illegal U-turn from the north curb line in the 1500 block of North Coast Highway to the southbound lanes.”

 Sgt Cota said, “A motorcycle that was accelerating northbound in the number two lane struck the front left fender of the Mazda. The motorcycle rider was thrown approximately 45 feet into the number one southbound lane.” 

Both lanes of North Coast Highway were closed for 15 minutes as LBFD tended to the subject’s injuries. One lane each of northbound and southbound North Coast Highway was opened as soon as practical. All lanes were opened 75 minutes after officers arrived on scene. 

Sgt Cota said, “The rider was transported to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. The single occupant of the Mazda, a Laguna resident, remained on scene until family arrived. The injuries of the rider were substantial.”

 A traffic collision investigation and report was completed.

Man struck with metal object by suspect while crossing the street with niece and nephew

On Friday, Feb 14, at 7:59 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 100 block of South Coast Highway in reference to an alleged assault investigation. 

According to Sgt Cota, “The victim was walking north on the east sidewalk of South Coast Highway approaching Ocean Ave, holding his younger niece’s hand in one hand and his younger nephew’s hand in his other hand. He was struck in the head from behind with a metal object.” 

The metal object was later identified as a trash can insert, taken from a stationary utility trash can. 

Sgt Cota said, “The victim nearly fell to the ground as a result of the attack. He turned around and observed a male running away from him, south on the same sidewalk.”

LBFD responded and treated the victim for a hematoma to his head. 

“Officers conducted an area search and located a male transient, holding the trash can insert in the 200 block of Park Ave,” Sgt Cota said. “The male was identified as Roberto Torres. He appeared to be under the influence and was making unintelligible statements.”

Roberto Navarro Torres, 55, was positively identified by the victim and subsequently arrested for alleged assault with a deadly weapon. 

“It was later determined Torres also used the metal object to strike two occupied vehicles on South Coast Hwy,” Sgt Cota said. “One of the vehicle owners declined a report and a vandalism report was completed for the other owner.”

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. 

  -By Suzie Harrison


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