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Laguna Beach

Police Files

Bobcat kills chickens, doves and swan at Anneliese

An animal control officer and an OC Parks Ranger responded to Anneliese School on Laguna Canyon Road near El Toro Road Monday at 12:17 p.m. when it was reported that a bobcat was somehow stuck inside the aviary on campus.

On scene, it was determined that the bobcat, which had opened a hole in the roof, had killed 12 chickens, a swan and three doves kept in the school’s aviary.

Police said the damage to the aviary and animals amounted to $1900.

Animal control was able to safely capture the bobcat, which was then taken further out into the wilderness area and released.

Punctured gas line caused evacuation of three homes

Workers repairing a water line in the 800 block of Wendt Terrace punctured a gas line late Wednesday afternoon. 

The Fire Department ordered the evacuation of three residences on Wendt Terrace and police closed a portion of Thalia Street as well as Wendt Terrace.

SoCal Gas was able to repair the punctured line about three hours later.

There were no injuries, police said. 

Man rescued by lifeguards after fall at Shaw’s Cove

Click on photo for a larger image

Staff photo by Aga Stuchlik

Emergency personnel responded to Shaw’s Cove at about the same time as the gas line was punctured Wednesday afternoon after the man on the stretcher above had fallen from the rocks at the beach. Lifeguards facilitated the rescue with paramedics and brought the man to the street level. The extent of his injuries was unknown. He was transported to Mission Trauma Center, Mission Viejo.

Police Files

Homeless man arrested with 24 outstanding warrants

Gualterio Montes de Oca, 44, a homeless man who grew up in Laguna Beach, was arrested for being drunk in public at 6:51 Saturday night.

When wants and warrants were checked as a matter of routine protocol, it was learned that he had 24 outstanding misdemeanor warrants – most for alcohol-related charges and total bail of $28,500.

This writer’s reporter’s notebooks contain over 70 arrests by LBPD of Montes de Oca since 2004.

 He was booked Saturday night and taken to county jail.

Two more stolen car arrests made in town last week

Laguna Beach PD officers recovered two stolen vehicles last week.

On Friday night at 11:45, according to Sgt. Tim Kleiser, an officer spotted a red Mitsubishi Montero on Laguna Canyon Road. The Mitsubishi was followed until sufficient additional patrol units made a felony car stop in the 200 block of Diamond Street.

The SUV had been reported stolen by LAPD on Thursday.

Paul Kim, 24, Winnetka, was arrested for felony vehicle theft with $20,000 bail.

On Thursday at 6:28 p.m., police arrested Curtis Scott Thornton, 48 of Huntington Beach for felony vehicle theft at N. Coast Hwy and Ledroit Street.

Police Files

Woman robbed at knifepoint walking on S. Coast Hwy

LBPD detectives are investigating a robbery that took place at 11:29 p.m. in the 2900 block of S. Coast Hwy this Tuesday.

Details are sparse at this time according to Sgt. Tim Kleiser.

He was able to tell us that the woman was walking alone from downtown when a man pushed her from behind, displayed a knife and took her purse and cell phone.

Police are not sure if this is connected to a similar incident that happened on Dec 15, also a Tuesday night, on Brooks Street. That assailant did not display a knife but did push the female victim down from behind and took her purse and cell phone.

That victim was also walking home from downtown.

Youth pastor from Aliso Viejo church arraigned for sexual assault of five boys he met at the church

In a press release Tuesday, the OCDA said that Brandon Ernis Lee McDade, 30, Mission Viejo, was arraigned earlier in the day on charges of sexually assaulting five boys under 16 years old at church events.

At the time of the crimes, McDade was employed as a youth pastor at Grace Hills Church in Aliso Viejo and had access to children.

Between June 2009, and Dec. 20, 2015, McDade is accused of meeting the victims, all under the age of 16, while they were in his care at the church. McDade is accused of sexually assaulting the victims while the victims were on church property. The defendant is accused of molesting one of the victims at a movie theater in Orange County and molesting another victim while the victim was attending a youth church camp in San Bernardino County.

McDade is being held on $1 million bail.

Police Files

Department of stupid criminals – don’t hold pot out of car window – especially when you have $35,000 worth in containers inside and there’s a cop car beside you

Two patrol officers were on S. Coast Hwy near Cress Street at four o’clock New Year’s Eve afternoon when they saw something very unusual. The passenger of a car next to them was leaning out of the window holding two bottles full of marijuana – one in each hand. The officers stopped them when they turned onto Agate Street.

LBPD booking photos

Brandon Herrera, 18 of Dana Point, the driver, and Austin Vernon, 18, Dublin, Ohio, were both immediately detained and the vehicle was searched.

LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said Monday, that in addition to the two jars Vernon was holding out of the window, other bottles were located with a total weight of nearly 43 ounces.

A bag containing another 44 ounces was also located – 2,436 grams with a street value of $35,000…not exactly personal use.

Both were arrested for felony transportation of marijuana for sales.

Herrera was also charged with felony possession of concentrated cannabis and driving without a license, a misdemeanor.

For good measure, Herrera was held for a felony warrant out of Harbor Court with charges of – are you ready – possession of marijuana and transportation of marijuana for sales. He was held for a total bail of $50,000.

Man suffers major cut from New Year’s sucker punch

Police received two distressed emergency 9-1-1 calls at 2 a.m. New Year’s morning from a female caller who managed to get the point across that someone had been hurt when assaulted at S. Coast Hwy and St. Ann’s Drive.

Police and medics were dispatched.

On scene, it was learned that a man who was walking his female friend home had inadvertently bumped into someone while checking his cell phone.

He didn’t see it coming when he was struck on the side of his face causing a major cut over his left eye. Medics stabilized the man who then was transported to Mission Trauma Center in Mission Viejo in critical, but not life threatening, condition.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser said detectives are investigating the case.

Apparent vandalism at LBHS created a brief stir for authorities

Emergency dispatch received a call from an alarm company at 11:56 p.m. New Year’s Eve for the activation of both a fire and burglar alarm.

The alarm company said that an associated camera activation in the classroom involved – a chemistry lab – showed a white powder substance strewn about.

After several minutes of investigating, it was determined that someone had sprayed a fire extinguisher around an area of the lab.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser said, “Officers noticed that someone had gained access to the room through a window. No items have been reported missing from the classroom at this time.”

Later in the day, it was also learned that several lockers in the boy’s locker room had been opened and their contents were strewn across the floor area. There is no direct evidence that the two incidents are related.

Police Files

Man falls off cliff at Secret Cove – suffers head injury

Copter needed to hoist the victim

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Firefighter Forrestt Lazick

Laguna Beach Fire Department

OC Fire copter lowers paramedic to the beach at Secret Cove

An Orange County Fire Authority helicopter assisted Laguna Beach firefighters and paramedics to rescue a 25-year-old Laguna Niguel man who fell 25-feet from the rocks above Secret Cove Thursday. 9-1-1 calls came into the emergency dispatch at 12:23 p.m. The callers said the victim was at Tablerock Beach off Bluff Drive.

The first arriving paramedic engine was blocked by numerous vehicles parked at red curbs and had to back out causing a delay in the injured man’s initial assessment.

Secret Cove – a sheltered area of beach just north of Tablerock with limited access was reached by a county lifeguard who reported that the man had a head injury and could not reach the street on his own.

A LBFD Division Chief on scene called for the helicopter, which first landed at Lang Park to board a paramedic. The medic was lowered down to the beach where he stabilized the victim and attached him to a line so that he could be hoisted to the copter. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Pete Black

Another view of the paramedic being lowered to the beach below

The copter airlifted the victim to Mission Trauma Center in Mission Viejo. Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said the injuries were not considered life threatening.

If you speed – not a good idea to fib to a cop and have some pot

A patrol officer spotted a speeding Jeep Grand Cherokee heading northbound on Coast Highway at Mountain Road at 3:20 Wednesday morning. The officer clocked the speeder at 60 mph in a 30 mph zone before making a traffic stop near Broadway.

The driver gave the officer a phony name, which the officer figured out in a few minutes. The man’s driver’s license was suspended.

That led to a search and under an ounce of marijuana was found.

Kyri Thomas, 21, Los Angeles, went to jail for providing false information, speeding, driving on a suspended license and possession of under an ounce of marijuana.

The Jeep Cherokee was impounded. 

Police Files

Wind knocks down trees onto vehicles downtown and Bluebird

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Photo courtesy LBPD

Three parked cars were damaged on Forest Avenue Saturday night

The winds that blew hard almost all day Saturday knocked down large limbs from eucalyptus trees damaging parked vehicles downtown on Forest Avenue and on Regatta Road in Bluebird Canyon.

Police said a large limb fell at 6:54 p.m. downtown landing on three parked cars in the 300 block of Forest Avenue. All three were damaged but no one was injured.

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Mark Christy

The large limb fell across Forest Avenue and the Fire Department cut down the limb and removed it opening the roadway. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Jean Keys

Just before 9 a.m., another large limb fell onto a golf cart parked across the street in the 1400 block of Regatta Road in Bluebird Canyon. No one was injured.

City crews responded and cut up the remnants to open the street.

Stolen car eludes police at 100 MPH on Coast Hwy

An officer spotted a black Audi stolen out of Santa Ana at 10:35 Christmas morning. When the patrol unit pulled behind the car heading northbound from the 200 block of S. Coast Hwy, the Audi accelerated hitting speeds of 100 MPH as it approached Boat Canyon Drive. The officer lost sight of the car near Ledroit Street.

20 minutes later, Newport PD found the car parked at Crystal Cove and located the passenger in the parking lot, according to LBPD Sergeant Tim Kleiser.

LBPD responded and arrested Savannah Wilson, 23 of San Juan Capistrano for resisting arrest.

The driver has not been located.

Police Files

Hardly a scratch for two after Honda Civic hits a parked VW van, a large dumpster and a utility pole 

A Honda Civic, which police said, “…speed may be a factor…” couldn’t make all of the turns at Big Bend heading out of town at 2:33 Wednesday morning. The result wasn’t good – the Honda ran into a parked VW van before hitting a large dumpster hard enough to have knocked it over a knoll into two more parked cars.

The Honda continued until it was stopped – by a utility pole.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said, “The two occupants of the car only sustained minor injuries and were not transported to hospital. Alcohol was not a factor in the collision, but speed may be. The exact cause of the collision is under investigation.”

Pair in stolen Jeep had heroin, credit card blanks, a credit card embossing device and a replica handgun

Last Monday night at 11:36, a stolen Jeep Grand Cherokee from Santa Ana was spotted near S. Coast Hwy and Nyes Place. Sufficient patrol units were assembled so that a felony car stop could be made just inside the entrance to Montage Laguna Beach.

The driver, Jake Querry, 27, Laguna Niguel, and passenger Jena Kreuiter, 26 of Huntington Beach, were cleared from the Jeep and detained. While officers questioned them, a search was made of the Grad Cherokee.

 LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said, “Inside the Jeep, officers found 1.2 grams of heroin, credit card blanks, a credit card embosser and a replica handgun.”

When officers spoke with a Montage manager they learned that the pair, along with another unidentified man, had earlier attempted to book a room earlier with a credit card, which was declined.

Querry was arrested on a felony charge of vehicle theft and narcotics possession. Kreuiter was taken into custody for misdemeanor drug possession.

The case remains under investigation by detectives.

Police Files

Woman robbed walking home on Brooks Street Tuesday night

A woman called police Wednesday morning to report that she had been strong-armed by an assailant who then robbed her taking her purse and cell phone.

 LBPD Sergeant Tim Kleiser told us, “She told officers that while she was walking home from a downtown bar at around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday on Brooks Street, someone had pushed her from behind, causing her to fall to the ground. The victim said her purse and cell phone were taken.” 

Sgt. Kleiser said she neither saw nor heard the assailant.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call LBPD at 497-0701.

Sunday morning rollover on Coast Highway

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Dennis Rooney

Dennis Rooney took this photo before police arrived on scene Sunday at 6:05 a.m. The Honda Pilot heading southbound in the 400 block of N. Coast Highway struck a parked car and rolled over. Police said the single occupant was uninjured and that no charges were pending. The cause is still being investigated, police said.

Police Files

DUI Checkpoint somewhere in town tonight

Police aim to save lives with ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over’ crackdown 

If you’re enjoying the holidays with a drink, the Laguna Police Department has a message for you: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Due to the increase in impaired driving-related fatalities around the holidays each year, law enforcement agencies across America will be actively searching for and arresting impaired drivers from December 18th to January 3rd. 

As part of the national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over enforcement campaign period; police, sheriff and the CHP will be conducting DUI checkpoints and DUI saturation patrols during the upcoming 17-day DUI enforcement campaign throughout the region. 

The Laguna Beach Police Department will be conducting a DUI Checkpoint on December 18, 2015, at an undisclosed location within the City limits, between the hours of 8 p.m. and 3 a.m. 

There are 10,000 reasons to crackdown: in 2013, 10,076 people were killed in crashes involving a drunk driver. In December 2013 alone there were 733 people killed in crashes involving at least one driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Twenty-three of those deaths occurred on Christmas Day. California was witness to 98 deaths and another 1,852 injured in alcohol-involved collisions in December 2013. 

Lieutenant Jeff Calvert said, “Drunk driving is a choice you make, and when you make that choice, people can get hurt or die. That’s why we’re joining with law enforcement nationwide to share the message: Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.” “The safest way to get home,” Lieutenant Calvert added, “is to drive sober or catch a ride with a sober, designated driver.” 

Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol. Everyone should be mindful that if you’re taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects.

Law enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of impaired 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 California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing users to “Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a “List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. 

Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen. 

Laguna PD reminds everyone to follow these simple tips to stay safe: 

Plan a safe way to get home beforeyou attend the party. Alcohol impairs judgment, as well as reaction time. If you’re impaired you’re more likely to choose to drive drunk. 

Designate a sober driver; take public transportation, a car service, or a call a sober friend of family member to get home. 

Walking while impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. 

If you see someone you think is about to drive while impaired, take their keys and help them get home safely. 

If you’re caught driving impaired you could face jail time, fines, loss of driver’s license, towing fees, and other DUI expenses, totaling $10,000 on average. That’s not a small price, and that doesn’t even count the heftier price you could pay: the price of your life or someone else’s. 

In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, Lieutenant Calvert is calling on everyone to be alert and ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911! If you see a dangerous driver call immediately! If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. “We’ve got to work together to make our roads safer this December and year-round,” he said. 

Remember, driving after drinking should never be an option. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. 

Funding for this holiday campaign is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

For further information, please contact: Lieutenant Jeff Calvert at (949) 464-6655 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Police Files

Car stop for tinted windows nets drugs, stolen credit card and 4 arrests

A car stop near Coast Hwy and Emerald Bay resulted in four arrests last Wednesday night.

LBPD Sergeant Tim Kleiser explained Monday, “An officer stopped a car near for tinted windows. The officer had seen the car leave the Shell Gas station prior to the stop.

“While speaking with the driver, the officer smelled marijuana coming from the car and the driver told the officer his driver’s license was suspended. There were also three passengers in the car. The officer searched the car and found methamphetamine and methamphetamine glass pipes. 

“While on scene, the officer recalled an earlier report of a theft from a vehicle on the 100 block of Cypress Drive where a credit card was taken and used at Shell. The officer located the stolen credit card in the car. All four occupants in the car were arrested. 

“34-year-old Sarah Frazier from Riverside was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property, possession of a narcotic, possession of drug paraphernalia, and conspiracy. Brandon Hill, 28, from Riverside was arrested for possession of a controlled substance, possession of stolen property, possession of a narcotic, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving on a suspended license, and conspiracy. 

Crystal Mitchell, 25, no fixed address, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Jacob Neufeld, 32 from Rialto, was arrested for possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.”   

LBPD booking photos

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