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Police Files

Suspect arrested at Surf & Sand after allegedly punching friend out, jumping off balcony onto sand

On Monday, Sept 24 at 3:16 a.m., at Surf & Sand Hotel, a caller reported to LBPD that his friend had knocked him out and that he was bleeding from the face. 

According to log reports, the caller had tried to get his credit card out of the room, which angered his friend because he was entertaining female guests and didn’t want to be interrupted.

Police Files Jeremy Bell“When officers arrived to investigate, the suspect fled on foot by jumping off the balcony onto the sand,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. 

 “The suspect left stolen mail, credit cards, and other property inside his car and the hotel room,” Sgt Cota said. “Officers searched the hotel room and vehicle taking evidence from both locations.” 

A taxi driver who was at the hotel recognized the suspect and later saw the suspect at the Chevron at SR-1 Coast Hwy and Crown Valley, but responding officers were unable to locate the suspect at the time, Sgt Cota said. 

At about 7 a.m., LBPD officers and detectives began surveillance near the hotel and the suspect was taken into custody at about 8:50 a.m. in front of the Surf & Sand. 

Bakersfield resident Jeremy Scott Bell, 33, was arrested for felony burglary second degree, battery, and using stolen credit cards. 

“Bell was positively identified and was on probation. He was charged with several fraud related crimes and burglary,” Sgt Cota said.

No bail was set.

Man gets punched for telling someone they look like talk show host Montel Williams

Police File Buce Kelly SmithOn Tuesday, Sept 25 at 7:55 a.m., at the 200 block of Broadway Street, a man, who was also the alleged victim, came to the LBPD station to report an alleged assault that had just occurred.

According to the alleged victim, he was in Whole Foods when he saw someone he thought looked like the talk show host Montel Williams. He walked up to the man and told him what he thought. Obviously not flattered, the suspect allegedly punched him in the ear and fled.

According to Sgt Cota, “Bruce Kelly Smith, 32, was found a short time later by police and positively identified as the suspect. Smith was taken into custody for the assault and two outstanding warrants. Smith listed his city and state of residence as Denton, Texas.”

Bail was set at $15,500.

Suspect unknown, the tale of a missing palm tree remains a mystery

On Wednesday, Sept 19 at 11:24 a.m., an LBPD officer met with a Merritt Farms employee who manages several properties in Laguna Beach, including at the 600 block of South Coast Highway, a vacant lot where the scene of the missing palm tree occurred.

According to police reports, the employee said the disappearance of the tree happened sometime between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. that day.

According to the witness, “An unknown subject removed a planted palm tree from the rear of the lot that was approximately 6-feet tall and 2.5-feet in diameter. The exact value of the mature rooted tree was unknown, but was estimated to be around $2,000.

 According to Sgt Cota, “There were no leads and or evidence at the time of this call. [The employee] stated, he would check neighboring businesses to see if there was any video footage of the incident. No leads have been found at this time.”

Join LBPD for National Coffee with a Cop Day Wednesday, Oct 3

LBPD invites Laguna locals to join together with neighbors and police officers for coffee and conversation on National Coffee with a Cop Day on Wednesday, Oct 3. LBPD will host a morning and evening event for National Coffee with a Cop Day. The first event will be held at Peet’s Coffee located at Gelson’s Market, at 30922 S Coast Hwy, between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. The second event will be held at Starbucks at 180 N Coast Hwy, from 6 to 8 p.m. 

“All community members welcome and invited to attend. The National Coffee with a Cop Day events represent a unique opportunity for community members to informally meet with LBPD to discuss community issues, respond to questions, build relationships and, of course, drink great coffee,” said LBPD Community Services officer Nikie Hernandez. “We hope to see everyone there.”