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Laguna Beach


Police Files

LB cop punched by intoxicated man – required stitches

An intoxicated man outside of an Ocean Avenue bar punched a Laguna Beach police officer in the face Saturday night. The officer required stitches in his chin.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser said Monday, “An officer saw two intoxicated men walking on the 200 block of Ocean Avenue near Hennessey’s at 9:58 p.m. The officer approached them to let them know they were too intoxicated and one walked towards the officer and tried unsuccessfully to grab his badge.”

Kleiser said the two men then tried to enter the bar but were told by the officer and a security guard that they were too drunk to go inside.

After a few words, the same man (Ben Percival, 29, Huntington Beach) that tried to grab the badge then aggressively approached the officer.

“The officer tried to push the male away, but was struck in the face by the male with a closed fist,” Kleiser said. “The officer was able to take the male to the ground and a security guard from Hennessey’s assisted the officer. Several other PD units arrived on scene and the male suspect was subsequently placed into handcuffs.”

Percival was arrested on charges of felony battery, felony resisting arrest, and misdemeanor battery on a peace officer.


Police Files

15-year-old girl arrested for knife attack on her mother

Police responded to a report of a juvenile with a knife on Laguna Canyon Road at 5:15 Tuesday evening.

LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said, “When the officers arrived a witness spoke to the officers and said he had taken the knife away from the juvenile, a 15-year-old girl. Officers contacted the juvenile and detained her after a brief struggle.”

The girl’s mother said that she and her daughter had argued and the girl became enraged. “She picked up a dive knife from the kitchen…[then]…chased her mother and struck her with the knife at least three times. 

“The mother sustained a wound to her chest that required staples, a laceration to her arm and a cut to her back,” Sgt. Kleiser said.

The girl was arrested and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, felony battery causing serious injury and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

She was taken to the police station for booking then transported to juvenile hall.

Man arrested in stolen car also had burglary tools

LBPD officers stopped another stolen car this week.

The felony car stop was made at El Toro Road and Laguna Canyon Road at 10:05 Monday night, police said. It had been stolen earlier in the day from a parking lot at Saddleback Hospital in Laguna Hills. The keys had been left inside the vehicle.

Joshua Michael Peters, 34, Garden Grove was arrested for felony vehicle theft, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of burglary tools.

Police said Peters had a key ring with several keys including many “bump keys”, which are used to open most locks to gain access by burglars.

DUI Enforcement operations set for this Friday night

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 Friday, Jan 22 between the hours of 9 p.m. and 3 a.m. in areas with high frequencies of DUI collisions and/or arrests.


Police Files

Stolen car arrest takes a wanted felon off the streets

Last Thursday night at 10:55, Laguna police stopped a 1994 white Honda that had been reported stolen in Santa Ana at S. Coast Hwy and Nyes Place.

A male and a female were taken into custody during the felony car stop.

LBPD booking photos

The driver, Binh Thai, 28, of San Jose and passenger, 19-year-old Amari Adams from Las Vegas were both charged with felony vehicle theft.

In addition, Thai was held on three warrants – two misdemeanors and one felony out of Orange County for being a felon in possession of a stun gun with $100,000 bail.

Adams was also charged with misdemeanor being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Both were booked and later taken to county jail.

Hit and run suspect arrested when cops find him at his residence

A witness called 9-1-1 after seeing a crash in the 2200 block of Laguna Canyon Road at 7:13 Saturday night. The caller told police that the driver had swerved before knocking down a flashing light pole near Laguna College and after pacing back and forth, the driver took off on foot.

Police did a massive area search before learning that the driver lived in a residence further out Laguna Canyon Road. They found the suspect there.

Collin Francis McKeown, 31, was arrested for hit and run and resisting arrest and held on a West Court warrant for trespassing – failing to leave a posted property when ordered to do so by a police officer. Bail for the warrant was $15,000.

Bicyclists collide near Aliso Beach  - woman injured

Paramedics and police responded to a report of a traffic crash involving two bicycles Friday afternoon on Coast Hwy near Aliso Beach.

Full details were not available according to LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser who told us, “Officers spoke to the two cyclists who said their handlebars had made contact with each other causing them to fall. A female cyclist was taken to the hospital for a possible concussion.”


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

Click on photo for a larger image

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.

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