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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Goats escape their enclosure on Bluebird Canyon Dr.

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Photo by Carter Fraser

It was goats, goats and more goats on Bluebird Canyon Drive late Monday night. Carter Fraser, LBHS senior, wrote that the goats leased by the city to mitigate the potential fuel supply for wildfires had escaped the enclosure by the tennis courts along the creek bed. They meandered down to the intersection of Oriole Drive devouring plants along the way. Oh, that’s at least one thing they’re known for…

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Photo by Mike Johnson

Cops arrive on scene in time to thwart potential burglar in business complex on Laguna Canyon Rd

At 4:45 Tuesday morning, a 9-1-1 caller reported that a man’s shadow had been seen and the door to the caller’s studio had been nudged. The call came from a business complex that houses a number of artists’ studios in the 3200 block of Laguna Canyon Road.

Once on scene, it didn’t take police long to locate and detain Buena Park resident James Marinow, 31.

Police said Marinow was arrested for felony attempted burglary with bail set at $50,000. His probation officer was contacted per protocol and immediately ordered that he be held without bail for probation violation.

DUI enforcement operations planned Saturday overnight

Officers from the Laguna Beach Police Department’s DUI Enforcement Team will be deploying this weekend to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the Department’s ongoing traffic safety campaign. 

DUI Saturation Patrols will deploy on Saturday, April 2, between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests. 

Over the course of the past three years in Laguna Beach officers have investigated 169 DUI collisions, which have claimed three lives and resulted in another 55 injuries. 

Law Enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don’t drink and drive. The cost of a ride home is cheap, nothing compared to a $10,000 DUI conviction and the ‘inconvenience’ of not driving your car home is nothing compared to the inconvenience of spending time behind bars. 

Funding for this DUI operation is provided to the Laguna Beach Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.

Police Files

Yes – that really was an adult sea lion on Coast Hwy

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Still from a video courtesy

of Danny Rendon of

Stop N Go – North Laguna

An adult sea lion stopped traffic in both directions for several minutes when it tried crossing N. Coast Hwy near Cajon Street Monday morning before 7 a.m. Police responded and held off the traffic until animal services and a rescue unit from Pacific Marine Mammal Center arrived. It was gently coaxed off onto a lot next to Midas where PMMC safely captured it and took it for observation.

Felony hit and run driver pulled over on 405 Fwy

Police and paramedics responded to a report of a hit and run injury crash outbound on Laguna Canyon Road near the dog park at 5:22 p.m. Saturday. One person was injured, police said.

One LBPD patrol unit hurried out Laguna Canyon Road and located the suspect vehicle on the 133 heading onto the northbound 5 Freeway. A stop was made near Jeffrey Road and the 405.

In the process, the hit and run driver, Allan Anthony Bulsiewicz, 68, Seal Beach, was involved in another crash. Details of the second crash were unavailable Monday.

Bulsiewicz was arrested for DUI and felony hit and run causing injury.

Police Files

Suspect arrested in Dana Point Tuesday for rape of unconscious woman here early on Sunday morning

Laguna Beach detectives went to Dana Point Tuesday afternoon to arrest Daniel Stephen Brinton, 29, on charges of felony rape of an unconscious person and misdemeanor sexual battery. 

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said Brinton and the 24-year-old female victim were among several people staying the night at a home in the 400 block of Shadow Lane. At about 5 o’clock Sunday morning, according to Sgt. Kleiser, a witness saw Brinton allegedly sexually assaulting the woman who was sleeping.

“The witness yelled at the suspect who stopped what he was doing and left the home on Shadow Lane,” Kleiser said.

The victim reported the incident at 8:24 a.m. Sunday.

Brinton was booked here with bail of $100,000.

Home burglary interrupted on Park Ave Thursday night – cops and Sheriff’s helicopter searched area

From a press statement by LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser at 12:15 a.m. March 25:

Last night at 7:16 p.m., officers responded to a residence on the 1900 block of Park Avenue for a residential burglary that was interrupted by the resident when he came home. The RP pulled into the driveway and saw a truck in front of the garage with items from his home in plain sight. 

He then saw someone get in the truck and begin to drive away. The resident tried to block the truck from leaving with his vehicle, but the truck was able to go around his car and flee. The truck also struck the RP’s car when fleeing. Shortly thereafter the resident saw another male run away from his home. 

Officers checked the area with the assistance of an Orange County Sheriff’s helicopter, but were unable to locate the truck or the male that ran. 

LBPD detectives responded to assist with the investigation and the Orange County Crime Lab also responded to process the crime scene at the home. 

The loss is estimated to be in excess of $50,000. The RP is completing an itemized list of the property stolen from the home.

Drunk driver crashed into a house on S. Coast Hwy

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Photo by Ryen Caenn

The Ford F250 pickup above crashed into a multi-unit building in the 2700 block of S. Coast Hwy late Thursday afternoon. No one was injured. Before running into the structure, the pickup smashed into the rear of a southbound car.

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Photo by Torryn Nunyo

This photo clearly shows the structural damage the pickup truck caused hitting the building. The driver, Edgar Angon, 38, Lake Forest, was arrested for DUI.

Woman with 7 warrants nabbed at ASL Monday night

Officers learned that a suspect with seven warrants, one for a felony charge was at the Alternative Sleeping Location Monday evening. They were able to take Leslie Jan Shacklett, 53, into custody for the warrants and added two new charges as well.

The total bail for her was set at $60,000.

The charges on the warrants included felony domestic battery, violation of a protective order (two warrants), DUI, contempt of court, trespassing and battery.

Police added fresh charges of violating a protective order and contempt of a court order at the time of her arrest.

She was taken to county jail.

Police Files

Man arrested in men’s room after pulling a knife on another man

Chad Garcia, 30, Garden Grove, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon just after midnight Friday after brandishing a knife and threatening another man.

A security guard was also in the Marine Room men’s room at the time and heard the threats. The guard escorted Garcia outside where they awaited the arrival of Laguna Beach Police officers.

Garcia was taken into custody for the felony charge without incident according to LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser. 

Bail was set at $25,000. 

Hacienda Heights man arrested after trying to smash store window

Police responded to the 300 block of Forest Avenue at 11:35 p.m. Saturday after a man was seen trying to smash the window of a store with a rock.

Jake Tineo, 20, of Hacienda Heights was detained while still in front of the store window when officers arrived on scene. The witness who had called 9-1-1 verified that the cops had their man.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser said Monday, “The window at the business had marks on it from a rock that the male was using to try and break it. They also saw that a nearby mailbox was opened and mail was scattered on the ground. Some of the mail had been opened.”

Tineo was arrested for felony attempted burglary and misdemeanor mail theft.

He was booked here and taken to county jail with bail of $20,000.

Police Files

Boy, 17, with no license, nabbed for speeding with 5-yr-old in car

A Laguna Beach PD motor officer stopped a car on North Coast Highway near Irvine Cove Drive for speeding at 9:49 Sunday morning.

When the officer spoke to the driver, he learned that he was a 17-year-old without a driver’s license. He had also been reported as a missing juvenile but police were able to confirm that he had returned home but that had not been reported to police.

There were three passengers with the 17-year-old – boys 5 and 13 who were his brothers and a 19-year-old friend.

The officer also detected something else – a definite odor of marijuana. Once an additional officer was on scene, an investigation for pot began. The 19-year-old soon admitted to having more marijuana and a small amount was located in his shirt. He was issued a citation for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Police detained the three juveniles from Costa Mesa and took them to the police station where they were released to an adult family member after further investigation.

It is possible that additional charges might stem from the incident.

Police Files

The details of what happened at Cress Street Friday

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Photo by Chris Tomlin

The OC Sheriff’s SWAT Team rescue vehicle at Cress Street Friday

The following is a statement from the La Casa Del Camino Hotel and has been verified through the LBPD by Stu News Laguna as being accurate.

Around 6:45 a.m., several guests reported a perfume-like odor and complained of itchy eyes and sore throats. As a precaution, a member of hotel staff phoned the Laguna Beach Fire Department. 

Firefighters arrived promptly on the scene and began conducting voluntary evacuations as a precaution. Police were requested by the LBFD at 7:15.  

Avila’s El Ranchito and the Surf and Sand Resort stepped in to lend a hand. Michael Avila assured La Casa Del Camino they could move their guests over to El Ranchito even though they weren’t even open yet. The Surf and Sand generously offered a room for the overflow as well.

During these evacuations, a guest on the third floor who appeared to have a negative reaction to the smell, refused to evacuate his room. 

Around 7:30 a.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad and SWAT team, along with the Orange County Fire Authority’s Hazmat unit were called to the hotel in order to investigate the suspicious circumstances and identify the source of the smell. The scene was immediately contained and no threat was present to the Laguna Beach Community. 

“The SWAT team went into the room [at 2:30]. We did not locate the individual. We did not see anything suspicious,” said Laguna Beach Police Department Emergency Operation Coordinator Jordan Villwock. “It’s believed that the subject possibly left before our arrival this morning.” 

After a thorough search of the establishment, no threat was found. The smell was caused by a bottle of cologne being left unattended on a heater. 

Despite complaints of feeling ill, no hotel guests have been hospitalized or reported any injures due to these events. 

“This is a good exercise for us to go through as hoteliers,” said owner Chris Keller. “The Fire Department and the Police Department have been outstanding. Our guests are really amazing and understanding. This is how a community comes together.”

La Casa Del Camino and its restaurant concepts reopened at 4 o’clock and guests were allowed to return to their rooms. 

Details & update on the Arch Beach Heights house fire

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Photo by Christina Shook

The home that burned on La Mirada Street Thursday night (and reported in our Friday edition) was completely destroyed according to the Laguna Beach Fire Department. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

LB Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse said there were two unusual circumstances about the call that came in just after six o’clock. “Our dispatchers had just received a call about multiple fire alarms in a multi-unit building on S. Coast Highway and a full structure response was dispatched.

“As those units were responding, the La Mirada Street calls came in and it was quickly apparent that we had the probability of a fire there.”

A second structure response was dispatched meaning eight fire engines and three ladder trucks were responding to calls in Laguna Beach at the same time.

Chief LaTendresse redirected the first response apparatus, which included all four Laguna Beach engines, from the alarm call to Arch Beach Heights. 

The call on S. Coast Highway turned out to be a false alarm.

Chief LaTendresse then explained the second unusual circumstance. “The lower levels of the home on La Mirada Street were fully involved almost immediately; probably at the same time the home’s fire alarms went off.

“Our engines could see the flash [of massive flames] quickly as they were responding and we were able to call it a working fire Justas quickly. That meant a second alarm and because of the false alarm call downtown, the second alarm response was already en route.”

Eight fire engines and three ladder trucks were in Arch Beach Heights within minutes of the call and that made a big difference in keeping the massive flames from spreading to any neighboring residences.

There were two people in the residence at the time of the fire. Chief LaTendresse said they were able to get outside quickly. “One of the women decided to go back inside in an attempt to save her pet birds. A neighbor saw that and followed her to extoll that she needed to leave, which she said she was doing because there was too much smoke for her to stay. She did not require any assistance for smoke inhalation.”

The three pet birds perished in the flames. 

The cause of the fire is still being determined.

For the record – police will be looking closely for drunk drivers who over-celebrated St. Patrick’s Day 

Laguna Beach Police will have beefed up DUI saturation units on the streets of town Thursday night – St. Patrick’s Day.

Don’t drink and drive and if you see a suspected impaired driver, don’t hesitate – call 9-1-1 immediately.

Police Files

Blaze destroys hillside home in Arch Beach Heights last night

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LBHS student Beebe Bedell took this photo from her deck across the street shortly after the fire was first spotted by neighbors who began calling 9-1-1

Seven 9-1-1 calls came in at the emergency dispatch center in town shortly after six o’clock Thursday evening all reporting that flames and heavy smoke were seen in the 1200 block of La Mirada Street.

When the first Laguna fire engine arrived on scene, it reported that a hillside structure was “fully involved” with fire. 

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Mary Hurlbut took this from Temple Hills. It shows the hillside home fully involved

Once a command was established and other apparatus arrived, it was clear to firefighters that they needed a defensive approach to protect neighboring homes from the intense blaze. The burning residence was tiered down the hillside with multiple sublevels. All levels were engulfed in flame.

A second alarm was called and the flames were confined to the original residence. It took firefighters nearly an hour to knock the flames down to a point where they felt it safe to enter sublevels and douse the fire inside.

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Photo by Ryen Caen


Firefighters scurry to haul hose to an attack point to get water on the flames.

The residents were at home and managed to escape the flames, a witness said.

The cause of the fire was not determined last night. We will update this story when more information is known.

SF man saw the sign and was given ample time to read it

An officer pulled over a car for speeding near Alta Laguna Blvd and Tree Top Lane early this past Saturday morning. When the driver was questioned, it became apparent that he had a suspended license. His passenger, Mary Jane Madrid, 31 of Costa Mesa, had two misdemeanor warrants and she was arrested.

A search of the car led to the discovery of a glass meth pipe and the driver was arrested for two misdemeanor charges – possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license.

Both were taken to the police station. Inside the sally port prior to entering the jail booking area, there is a sign that is pointed out to all prisoners who are given plenty of time to read it and they are asked if they understand it.

It makes it clear that it is a serious crime to being any contraband into a jail in the state of California. Dustin Patton, 25, San Francisco, said he understood the sign.

In the jail, officers found a baggy of methamphetamine on Patton and he was charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and felony bringing a controlled substance into a jail.

The bail on the simple drug possession charge is $500. 

The bail for the felony charge is $25,000.

Police Files

Sherman Oaks couple has a bad night visiting Laguna

Police emergency dispatch received a 9-1-1 call at 1:38 a.m. Saturday from a hotel guest in the 1400 block of S. Coast Hwy. According to the police log, the caller said a woman in the next room was yelling, “Let me out! Help me! Stop!”

Officers responded and arrested Mohammad Jamaal Hussein, 29, of Sherman Oaks for felony domestic battery against the female who had been screaming, with bail of $50,000.

Paramedics treated her for her injuries.

The victim, Aisha Emma Mitrea, 26, Sherman Oaks, ended up under arrest for a felony warrant from the LAPD with two charges of perjury, identity theft and false personation as another real person in a court proceeding with criminal charges.

Bail on the warrant was $150,000.

The couple in this Prius threw away the stereotypes

Toyota has a TV commercial you may have seen where cops are pursuing four suspects in a Prius on city streets. The dispatcher mocks the cop who radios that the Prius is going pretty fast.

If Toyota wants a true crime story for additional images to change the stereotypical Prius driver – an environmentally conscious “thinking” person – they might consider the results of a traffic stop made in the 300 block of Cliff Drive at a little past 11 o’clock Friday night. 

The Prius was pulled over after the officer saw it on the wrong side of the yellow stripes and running a red light.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD fills in the rest… 

“The officer spoke to the driver and learned that he had an active restraining order against him with the woman passenger in the car. She also had a restraining order against her – from him. 

“The officers searched the car and found a bag of methamphetamine and an eighteen-inch long baton.” 

Michael Hadipour, 54 from Escondido, was arrested for violation of a protective order, possession of a baton, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors. 

Roya Kazemzadeh, 48, Rancho Santa Margarita, was taken to jail for violation of a protective order and possession of a controlled substance, also misdemeanors.

Bail for both was $16,000.

Police Files

Teenage girls rob woman on Anita St at knifepoint in broad daylight

Police said a woman walking alone in the 500 block of Anita Street Wednesday afternoon was robbed at knifepoint by teenage girls. 

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said police were not sure if two or three blonde haired teenage girls had approached the woman.

He said the victim called 9-1-1 within minutes of the robbery. “They drove past her on Anita Street as she walked toward the beach and stopped in front of her. The suspects approached her and demanded her purse and cell phone. She gave them $5 and they fled…”

Sgt. Kleiser said they were in a dark grey or black sedan or small SUV and were last seen westbound on Anita Street. The vehicle may have had out of state plates according to police who added that the driver appeared to be a male.

LBPD detectives are investigating the case.

Woman arrested after driving stolen car from the IE to visit the beach 

Police patrol units learned that a stolen white Saturn reported from Riverside had driven into Laguna Beach at the north City limits at 3:03 a.m. Tuesday morning. They searched for the car and located it parked in the 1000 block of Cliff Drive.

As officers watched the Saturn, other officers began an area search nearby, Sgt. Tim Kleiser indicated. They encountered a woman at Shaw’s Cove beach who denied knowledge of the car.

At 5 a.m., they saw her nearby the parked Saturn and questioned her once more. Her answers led them to a search and the keys to the stolen vehicle were discovered.

Tamra Trueblood, 43, from Murrieta in Riverside County, was arrested at 5:15 a.m. and charged with felony vehicle theft.

Police Files

Laguna Niguel man arrested for two attempted robberies Saturday

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Photo by Kay Metis

Several police units set up downtown to make arrest of suspect

LBPD officers arrested a Laguna Niguel man, 27, at Glenneyre and Forest Ave at 11:43 a.m. Saturday after he attempted to rob two downtown businesses.

LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said Monday, “Officers responded to Art of Dr. Seuss in the 400 block of S. Coast Hwy for a robbery that had just occurred. The officers located the male suspect near Glenneyre and Forest and he struggled with the officers. They were able to detain the male and learned that he had also committed a robbery at Tuvalu located nearby. 

The suspect had entered Tuvalu and approached the store clerk at the register and ordered the employee to empty the register and give him all the money. The employee ran next door and called the police. The same male had previously run into Art of Dr. Seuss and demanded money an employee there. The employee told the suspect she did not have any money and he left. Nothing was taken from either business.

Joshua Poeske was taken into custody felony robbery, misdemeanor battery on a peace officer, and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Sgt. Kleiser explained: “While in the booking room at the PD, Poeske kicked an officer and additional officers responded to the jail. After a struggle with Poeske they were able to detain him within the jail. An officer received minor injuries from the altercation.

The combative suspect was immediately taken to Orange County Jail, police said.

Stolen vehicle recovered on El Paseo – arrest made

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Photo by Dennis Rooney

Police secured the scene on El Paseo without incident

Police spotted a stolen 2009 Hyundai and managed to perform a felony car stop on El Paseo near the Main Beach cobblestones late Sunday afternoon.

Details were sparse other than it is known that Michael Mitchell, 51 of Orange, was arrested for felony possession of stolen property.

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

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