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Police Files

Man arrested for arson after allegedly igniting newspapers on fire in the canyon

On Tuesday, Feb 25, at 5:22 a.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel responded to the area of Laguna Canyon Road in reference to a vegetation fire.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “The reporting party described the male suspect to be wearing a white robe and standing near the flares as the fire was burning.” 

Sgt Cota said, “Upon the officers’ arrival, the fire had been extinguished and the male suspect was contacted just a few yards away from the original location of the fire. It was determined the suspect, Brent Aaron Morita, 42, was the one who started the fire with newspapers, and has done so in the past as well.” 

Morita was arrested for alleged arson.

No bail was set.

Suspect arrested after allegedly threatening to cut a person for not giving him money

On Wednesday, Feb 26, at 9:16 a.m., Anthony Tabarsi, 54, was reported to have been screaming at pedestrians near 200 Forest Ave. 

According to Sgt Cota, “He [allegedly] yelled at the reporting person for not giving him money and then said, ‘I will cut you.’ He [allegedly] reached into his pocket and the victim backed away about 50 feet while yelling at him. Tabarsi was located by officers and later identified during a field show-up.” 

Sgt Cota said, “He was arrested for [alleged] terrorist threats and later transferred to OC Jail.”

Bail was set at $50,000.

No laughing matter: Two adults and one minor arrested on nitrous oxide charges

On Wednesday, Feb 26, at 6:38 a.m., LBPD officers were sent to the 100 block of Crescent Bay Drive after a resident saw passengers inside of a BMW who appeared to be inhaling something from balloons. 

According to Sgt Cota, “Officers contacted two adults and one juvenile from Santa Ana. The subjects were found in possession of balloons and a tank of nitrous oxide.” 

Sgt Cota said, “The minor driver admitted to borrowing his mother’s vehicle without her permission. A 20-year-old rear passenger admitted to buying the nitrous tank. He was charged with possessing/using nitrous oxide, [known as] laughing gas, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” 

Sgt Cota said, “The juvenile and the other adult were also charged with possessing/using nitrous oxide.”

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