Police Files

Scuba diver found face down in the water at Crescent Bay Beach, unresponsive during rescue efforts

On Friday, Sept 14, at 8:04 a.m., LB Lifeguards received a 911 call about a single scuba diver face down in the water at Crescent Bay Beach. The patrol unit was on scene in three minutes at 8:07 a.m., according to LB Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond. 

“A single scuba diver was pulled out by a good Samaritan, an adult male with scuba equipment. Lifeguards performed CPR on scene at Crescent Bay Beach, but he was unresponsive,” Capt Bond said.

The adult male was then taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo by paramedics. His condition is unknown. 

The surf has been rough and there have been a number of drowning events in the last couple of weeks. Capt Bond said the surf conditions have been pretty significant with 3 to 5 feet swells and yellow flag conditions.

Important safety tips for people who want to go out into the ocean: learn to swim; swim by an open lifeguard tower; swim with a buddy; always check with  the tower lifeguard to get up-to-date conditions; learn about rip current safety; and always go into the water feet first, Capt Bond said.

For this past weekend, on Saturday, Sept 15 and Sunday, Sept 16, there were 274 rescues, 42 medical aids, 4,454 public contacts, and 2,425 prevents. 

This summer, from June 23 to Labor Day, Marine Safety had 5,265 rescues, made 323,861 public contacts, and prevented 166,558 beachgoers.

Local man nabbed for meth in his buttocks, according to LBPD

On Saturday, Sept 15, at 7:09 p.m., an LBPD officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven near Calliope Street and S Coast Hwy. The officer advised the vehicle continued travelling southbound and requested an additional unit respond.

Police Files Ronald Herndon“The officer saw Herndon reaching around inside the vehicle. The vehicle yielded in front of the Surf and Sand,” said LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock. “Herndon repeatedly reached towards his shorts’ pockets and was taken out of the vehicle and detained in handcuffs. A probation search of his person and vehicle was conducted. Herndon was arrested for possession of controlled paraphernalia.”

Prior to entering jail, Herndon reportedly advised he had methamphetamine hidden between his buttocks. Further investigation revealed he was selling methamphetamine, according to Villwock.

Ronald Gene Herndon, 53, of Laguna Beach, was also charged with felony transport of a controlled substance and felony possession of a controlled substance for sale. Orange County Probation was contacted and he was placed on a probation hold.

Man having heart attack at Shaw’s Cove Beach saved by LBPD officers’ quick aid

On Sunday, Sept 16, at 2:49 p.m., “LBPD officer Tommy McGuire was dispatched along with LBFD to a medical aid for a heart attack on the stairs at Shaw’s Cove,” said LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock. “Beach Patrol Officer Tanner Flagstad was also in the area and responded as well. Both officer McGuire and BPO Flagstad arrived on scene first and began CPR along with using an AED, which provided two shocks before fire arrived on scene and provided life-saving treatment.”

Police Files Tommy McGuire

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD Officer Tommy McGuire (pictured here) and LBPD Beach Patrol Officer Tanner Flagstad saved the life of a man having a heart attack at Shaw’s Cove

According to Villwock, LBFD supplied Advanced Life Support and transported the 75-year old man to a local area hospital. When he arrived at the hospital, he was breathing on his own and talking to first responders. 

“LBFD Fire Captain/Paramedic Robert Abijay attributed the life-saving actions to what officer McGuire and BPO Flagstad did with early CPR and AED usage,” said Villwock.

LBPD later learned that the 75-year-old man they saved at Shaw’s Cove was celebrating his granddaughter’s engagement with family at the beach at the time of his heart attack and rescue. Hopefully, thanks to LBPD heroics, he will soon be able to continue the celebration.

Teens rescued from rough surf at Sleepy Hollow with help from a good Samaritan surfer and LB lifeguards 

On Friday, Sept 14, at 3:59 p.m., at the 600 block of Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach Emergency Services, including Marine Safety, received a 911 call reporting three subjects in the water at Sleepy Hollow Beach.

 The reporting party said they were approximately 100 feet offshore at Sleepy Hollow Beach. 

According to LB Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond, “Our tower lifeguard from Main Beach responded, as well as two of our patrol units. At 4:01 p.m., the tower lifeguard made contact with the group. Since there was more than one person we had our patrol units back him up. We were able to rescue the three people out of the water by 4:03 p.m.”

Capt Bond said two of the three patients were transported to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach. One was not a medical aid, but the other two were transported. 

“The patient information is not known at this time,” Capt Bond said.

Police Files Scott

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Teens from Santa Ana needed rescued at Sleepy Hollow Beach

Eye witness Brynne Van Putten, who is a local, described the scene as she was walking her dog down the steps at Laguna Surf at the time of the incident.

“The surf was pretty rough that day, and there was a kid about 30 yards out in the water, and he was yelling. I looked out and there was a pod of seven bottle-nosed dolphins near him. I thought he was yelling because of the dolphins, that he was excited about them,” Van Putten said. “And his friends were running back and forth on the beach and all these guys, his friends were about 16 or 17-years-old. I kind of realized that he wasn’t yelljng about the dolphins, he was drowning.”

At the beach, she saw a group of about 10 girls, approximately 16-years-old, and a few people scattered around the beach. She noticed that there were only two surfers in the water. 

 “His friend was running up and down the beach yelling does anybody know how to swim?” Van Putten said. “One of his friends started to swim out in the water and he got in trouble. He tried to go back in, but he couldn’t reach him. I started to look around to see if there was a boogie board or a surfboard because the waves were so big, there was obviously a riptide, and there was just so much pull that I didn’t feel comfortable to go in to swim to him.”

Police Files Van Putten

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Photo by Brynne Van Putten

Santa Ana teens needed help in rough surf on Friday, good Samaritan surfer helps save the day

She said she was trying to call the lifeguards, but that they were all at Main Beach. 

“Then this other kid grabbed somebody’s boogieboard, it was obvious they were friends and tried to go in. He wasn’t able to do anything. He fell flat on his face,” Van Putten said. “Then it was obvious that somebody had gotten to the lifeguards because you could all their sirens going and the police sirens.”

But in the meantime, this kid was starting to go down, she said.

“And this young surfer, Michael, he just went running on in and he went out there, out to the guy. The kid went under twice,” Van Putten said. “Then Michael got to him and supported him on his board.” 

At this point the lifeguards came running down, Van Putten said. As another friend staggered out of the surf, his friends went out to the white water and grabbed him. He just collapsed on the beach.

“Then all the firefighters, paramedics, beach patrol, and police department got down there and the two lifeguards went running out into the water,” Van Putten said. “They went out to where Michael was and then all three of them got the kid in and started working on both of the kids.”

One of the kids started getting sick and they were put on stretchers and taken to the hospital. She said the kids were all from Santa Ana and told her that the boy that almost drowned got swept all the way down from Main Beach.

“If Michael hadn’t gotten to that kid when he did, he definitely would have drowned or he definitely would have been under,” Van Putten said.

The good Samaritan, surfer Michael Cipolletti, from Laguna Niguel, was the true hero, Van Putten added.

Man steals Mike’s Hard Lemonade from Ralphs

On Wednesday, Sept at 2:29 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Ralphs at the 700 block of S Coast Hwy in reference to a petty theft of alcohol. 

“LBPD officers contacted Brian Ensley who was still in possession of a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Four Loco which he had stolen from Ralphs,” said Jordan Villwock,

LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator. “Ralphs was desirous of prosecution and positively identified by an infield show-up.” 

According to reports, Ensley took off from Ralphs on his skateboard with the loot d’liquor stashed in his black backpack. According to police records, an officer said, “I located a strawberry Mike’s Lemonade with the subject and the can is still kinda cold.” The other chilled swill located on his person was a Hurricane Malt.

Brian Scott Ensley, 40, of Laguna Beach, was placed under arrest for petty theft and felony violation of probation.

No bail was set.