Laguna Beach

Police Files

18-year-old caught in a stolen car with two juveniles on board

At 5:33 a.m. on Friday, April 14, officers were notified that a Honda Odyssey that had been stolen in Costa Mesa a week earlier had entered Laguna Beach.

Officers stopped the vehicle near Anita Street and Coast Highway and detained its three occupants. 

The driver, Spencer Hastings Jr., 18, Costa Mesa, was arrested for felony vehicle theft with $20,000 bail.

The two female juveniles were transported to the police station.

Police Files

Tesla sideswipes semi-truck while on autopilot

Tesla started equipping its Model S vehicles with self-driving hardware in October 2014, to “relieve drivers of the most tedious and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel,” according to their website. The Autopilot function works like the same systems airplane pilots use – the driver is still responsible for and in control of the car.

This function didn’t work out too well for the driver of a Tesla S70 on Laguna Canyon Road Monday afternoon.

“The Tesla was headed outbound on Laguna Canyon Road when it collided into a semi-truck that was stopped on the side of the road just past Raquel Road,” said Sgt. James Cota of the LBPD. “At the time of the collision, the Tesla was in the autonomous mode.”

Neither parties were injured, but according to the police log, a tractor and trailer needed to be towed from the scene due to rear axle damage. 

Homeless man caught driving stolen car

On Monday at 9:40 a.m., officers were alerted to a 1990 Volvo stolen in Laguna Woods making its way down Coast Highway.

The car was stopped near El Paseo and Laguna, and its occupants detained shortly after 10 a.m.

The driver, Christopher Paul Mack, 49, no fixed address, was arrested for felony vehicle theft and possession of a stolen vehicle. 

Motorcyclist sustains head injury after hitting curb on Park Ave

Shortly after 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Laguna Beach Police officers arrived at Park Avenue and Tahiti Avenue following reports of a traffic collision.

“Officers on scene determined that a motorcyclist had collided with a curb and into the guardrail,” said Sgt. James Cota, LBPD spokesman. 

The rider sustained a head injury and was taken to Mission Hospital Mission Viejo for care.

Police Files

Drug dealer busted with Ecstasy & Adderall

Thursday at 2:33 a.m., an officer stopped a vehicle in the 700 block of Cliff Drive for failing to stop at a stop sign. The vehicle was searched.

“Officers found 30 Ecstasy pills, one clear pill containing powder MDMA (Ecstasy), and 10 Adderall pills,” said Sgt. James Cota, LBPD spokesperson. 

Rodrigo Padillo, 22, Irvine, was arrested for possession and transportation of a controlled substance for sales.

Man throws pizza at woman after she offers him free food

On Saturday afternoon, a woman offered food to a man on Ocean Avenue.

The man, identified as Michael Moody, 36, did not like this very much. A verbal altercation ensued, culminating in Moody throwing the pizza at her.

After officers contacted both parties and witnesses, Moody was arrested for assault against the woman. 

Laguna Beach PD is hiring

The City of Laguna Beach is now hiring men and women who have an interest in law enforcement. Come join the great team at LBPD!

The application deadline for Police Recruit & Academy Graduate is Monday, April 24, at 4 p.m.

You do not have to have been through the Police Academy to apply, but if hired you will be required to complete the 6-month intensive training.

Watch the Laguna Beach Police Department recruitment video at

For more details and to apply, visit

Police Files

Homeowner and cops catch a burglar in the act

On Monday at 4:35 a.m., Laguna Beach police officers responded to a residence on Monterey Street after the homeowner called to report a man trying to break into a window on his property.

According to the police log, the suspect was clawing and crying on the ground before entering the residence’s garage.

Officers made contact with the man shortly after arriving and arrested him after the homeowner positively identified him. 

Stephen Michael Cobb, 24, West Hills, was taken into custody for burglary, trespassing and vandalism.

Couple of car thieves caught by cops

Laguna Beach Police officers helped return two stolen cars to their owners this week.

On Tuesday, officers were alerted that a vehicle stolen from a local rental car agency was entering the city via Laguna Canyon Road. The Kia Soul was supposed to have been returned in February.

Officers located the car in a parking lot on Laguna Cyn Rd, and followed the driver once he drove off. He ultimately stopped near the 73 onramp and El Toro Road.

The driver, Thomas Nordberg, 38, of Manhattan Beach, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle.

On Sunday, officers were alerted to a stolen car near Ledroit Street & N. Coast Hwy. The Hyundai Elantra had been reported stolen out of San Diego, and was ultimately stopped in the 700 block of S. Coast Hwy.

The driver and sole occupant, Vladimir Feldman, 37, of San Diego, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. 

Laguna Beach PD is hiring

The City of Laguna Beach is now hiring men and women who have an interest in law enforcement. Come join the great team at LBPD!

The application deadline for Police Recruit & Academy Graduate is Monday, April 24, at 4 p.m.

You do not have to have been through the Police Academy to apply, but if hired you will be required to complete the 6-month intensive training.

Watch the Laguna Beach Police Department recruitment video at

For more details and to apply, visit

Police Files

High-risk traffic stop on Saturday – guns drawn and an AR-15 in the vehicle

On Saturday afternoon around 2:45 p.m., the Laguna Beach PD received a call about a man and a woman seen in a vehicle with a gun. Officers located the vehicle and conducted a high-risk traffic stop in the 400 block of Forest Avenue.

The vehicle’s occupants were detained and an AR-15 rifle was found on the front floorboard of the vehicle, plus about 20 rounds of ammunition. 

The man, 20-year-old Sir West from Las Vegas, was arrested for misdemeanor possession of a loaded firearm.

The female, 27-year-old Saffire Wallace, also from Las Vegas, was arrested for misdemeanor possession of a firearm, misdemeanor driving on a suspended license, and felony child endangerment. 

The vehicle’s third occupant, a five-year-old child, was taken to Child Protective Services. 

After argument about birds, man punches and kicks officers

Saturday at 5:07 p.m., officers responded to Main Beach in response to two men who had been loudly arguing about feeding birds, according to the police log. The two men had been swearing at each other as well.

While driving to Main Beach, officers saw a man on a bicycle who matched the description of one of the men who had been arguing.

“When officers attempted to detain the man, he struck one of the officers with a closed fist in the face,” said Lt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD.

The two officers present struggled to detain the man, who managed to kick the other officer. A third officer arrived, but the man continued to resist.

“The officers were eventually able to place handcuffs on him and place him in a patrol car,” said Kleiser.

The man, identified as Daniel Delrosario, 24, no fixed address, was arrested for felony resisting arrest and misdemeanor assault on a police officer.

Business burgled overnight

A delivery driver pulled up to the 200 block of Ocean Avenue on Saturday at 5:14 a.m. and noticed that all was not right with a neighboring business – a window was broken.

Officers arrived and checked the interior, where they found several open boxes and empty display cases.

Surveillance footage revealed four suspects, all hooded and wearing gloves, at the location around 4:49 a.m.

“The owner responded to the location and estimated the loss at $70,000,” said Lt. Kleiser, LBPD spokesperson. 

The case is under investigation.

Police Files

Van with several teens inside rolls over Laguna Canyon Road

Tuesday at 4:27 p.m., the outbound lanes of Laguna Canyon Road were blocked after a vehicle struck a dirt embankment and rolled over.

According to the police log, it was reported that the vehicle appeared to have several teenagers inside.

“It is suspected that the vehicle was driving on the shoulder to pass other vehicles when it struck a dirt embankment,” causing it to roll over, said Lt. Kleiser, LBPD spokesperson.

Two people were taken to the hospital for minor injuries.

The driver, 21-year-old Kimarra Fields from Cypress, was arrested for DUI, reckless driving, and driving without a license. 

More trees cut in SoLag

On Tuesday afternoon, the Public Works Department reported that someone had cut trees in the center median in the area of Blumont Street and Virginia Park Drive.

Two tops of the trees were trimmed, according to Lt. Kleiser of the LBPD. 

No further information on the incident was available.

Police Files

Helicopters didn’t find car thieves Saturday night but cop on patrol did next morning

On Sunday morning around 7 a.m., an officer saw two men in dirty, wet clothing walking on the sidewalk of Park Avenue. Noticing that one matched the description of the driver of a stolen car Saturday night, the officer stopped to talk to the two men.

One gave a false name and was arrested for resisting arrest. When his real name was discovered, Braulio Pulgarin, 18, from Whittier, was also arrested for his outstanding no bail warrant from Whittier.

The other man, alleged to be the driver of the car, was 18-year-old Alexander LopezTavira from Downey. He was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon, child endangerment, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, hit and run, and evading police officers.

This all came about from a stolen Lexus that entered Laguna Beach from Laguna Canyon Road on Saturday at 11:47 p.m.

“Officers found the vehicle near Forest Avenue and Broadway and attempted to stop it,” said Lt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD. “The vehicle fled and struck a delivery truck in the Village Mart parking lot.”

The driver put the car in reverse after hitting the truck, proceeding to then hit the officer’s vehicle.

“The vehicle ultimately crashed on Park Avenue near Tahiti, and the occupants in the car fled on foot,” said Kleiser. 

By 12:23 a.m., thanks to helicopter support, the LBPD had detained two 15-year-old boys from Whittier. According to the police log, one was taken to UCI Medical Center with a broken leg. 

LopezTavira’s child endangerment was because two of the occupants were underage. 

Single vehicle car accident yields no serious injuries

On Saturday evening, the juvenile driver of a black Audi rolled the vehicle on the 1700 block of Park Avenue.

Photo by Scott Brashier

First responders said that the young driver had no life-threatening injuries

The driver was taken to the hospital for neck pain and bleeding hands, but there were no life-threatening injuries.

The cause of the collision is under investigation.

Police Files

The Art of the Steal: Painting purchase leads to arrest

On Monday evening, a customer used a credit card to purchase a painting for $1,512.00.

Only problem was, it wasn’t his credit card that he used.

“The owner of the credit card received an email alert about the transaction,” said Lt. Kleiser of the LBPD.  She called the gallery and told them she hadn’t made any purchases. She also talked to officers and informed them that the card was also fraudulently used at the Montage Laguna Beach.

Officers went to the Montage Laguna Beach and located the man who had made the purchase. After checking the room he was staying in, they found 12.41 grams of methamphetamine and a credit card skimmer.

Xilong Wang, 29, Riverside, was arrested for felony burglary, felony defrauding an innkeeper, felony theft of a credit card, felony possession of stolen property, and felony credit card fraud. Misdemeanors included possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Kramer vs. Kramer?

Laguna Beach man in fight, warrant for vandalism leads to arrest

On Monday at 5:25 p.m., officers received a call about a physical altercation between two men at the ASL. Neither man had a weapon, and both were still fighting when officers arrived.

Both men were detained soon after the LBPD’s arrival.

Details were limited, but 45-year-old Donald Kramer from Laguna Beach was arrested for an outstanding $2,500 Central Court warrant for vandalism.

Police Files

Female drug dealer arrested early Sunday on Fairview

An officer saw two people seated inside a vehicle in the 200 block of Fairview Sunday morning at 3 a.m. The vehicle was searched.

“Officers seized a total amount of 38.65 grams of methamphetamine and 1.34 grams of heroin,” said Lt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD.

Christine Ann Wright, 46, Fullerton, was arrested for felony possession of a controlled substance for sales.


Juveniles leap from the roof of Laguna Royale

On Saturday around 11:54 a.m., a witness reported two juveniles jumping off of the fourth-floor roof of the Laguna Royale complex in the 31400 block of Coast Hwy to land in the pool on the ocean side of the building. 

Beach Patrol officers contacted the two sixteen-year-old boys, one from Lake Forest and one from Rancho Santa Margarita, and issued citations for trespassing, since neither live in the complex.

They were later released to their parents.

Photo by Scott Brashier


False name leads to second arrest

On Friday night, officers conducted a routine traffic stop for a vehicle violation. The female occupant was arrested for possession of prescription pills without a prescription, providing officers with her information during the booking process.

After her release, she returned to the police station Saturday evening and informed officers she had given a false name and age during the previous arrest.

This led to a second arrest for 19-year-old Tyler Lattenhauer of Yorba Linda, this time for providing a false name

Police Files

Motorcycle chase ends at the 405

Tuesday night around 11:14 p.m., an officer witnessed a traffic violation by a motorcycle. A stop was attempted in the 2700 block of Laguna Cyn Rd.

The motorcyclist didn’t yield until he was past the 73 freeway, before the 405. 

Once stopped, officers learned that the driver, 26-year-old Ross Hamera from Costa Mesa, formerly from Laguna Beach, was on probation for DUI.

“The officer conducted a DUI investigation and arrested Hamera for DUI and violation of a court order,” said Lt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD.

Hamera also had an outstanding Harbor Court bench warrant for DUI, failure to comply with an officer, and driving on a suspended license.


Don’t depend on the luck of the Irish tonight

St. Patrick’s Day has become one of the nation’s favorite holidays to celebrate and party. Unfortunately, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 252 people lost their lives in drunk driving-related crashes during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday period from 2011-2015. 

More than a fourth of them were killed in drunk driving crashes that occurred in the early morning, post-party hours (midnight to 5:59 a.m.). 

Drugs including many prescription medications, marijuana or illicit drugs can also lead to impairment and unsafe driving. When mixed with even a small amount of alcohol, the effects can be compounded.

Hand over those keys if you are planning to drink tonight 

Additional officers from the LBPD will deploy this weekend to stop and arrest drivers showing signs of alcohol or drug impairment. In addition to this St Patrick’s Day enforcement effort, all police, sheriff and the CHP will be on heightened alert ready to stop and arrest any impaired driver throughout the weekend. 

Planning a sober ride home before the party begins is the first step in staying safe on St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t wait until you’ve already been drinking to make your transportation decision. 

Designate your sober driver in advance, and never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking. 

Don’t depend on the luck of the Irish, that’s the bottom line.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

Alexis Amaradio, Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Lynette Brasfield, Marrie Stone, Maggi Henrikson, Samantha Washer, and Suzie Harrison are our writers and/or columnists. Scott Brashier is our photographer.

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.


© 2019 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.