Laguna Beach

Police Files

Convicted killer charged a second time for brutal 1978 murder of Laguna man 

Walter Lawrence Dalie, a 60-year-old convicted killer, was charged for a second time for the brutal 1978 murder of Laguna Beach resident Brent Stapleton Tobey. On Monday, March 4, he pleaded not guilty to charges that were previously dismissed by prosecutors on August 18, 2015.

According to Rebecca Moss, Public Affairs Specialist, OC District Attorney’s Office, “Dalie is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on March 19, in Department H-1, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach. He was arraigned and pleaded not guilty to all charges on March 4.” 

According to the criminal complaint, Dalie is charged with one count of murder “with malice and aforethought” and two sentencing enhancements for murder during the commission of a robbery, and for “personally using a knife as a dangerous and deadly weapon,” in the commission of murder.

Police Files Dalie

Courtesy of OCDA

Walter Dalie was 19 years old in 1978 when local architect Brent Tobey was brutally murdered

Tobey, a prominent local architect, 55 at the time of his death, was stabbed 17 times in the back, head, and chest on November 20, 1978.

The original 2011 case against Dalie was dismissed in part by prosecutors because two critical witnesses had died since a preliminary hearing in the Tobey killing. And at the time, the Orange County Crime Lab was unable to conduct a detailed forensic analysis of evidence from the crime scene.

The day of his murder, Tobey and a friend, who lived nearby, had plans to have dinner together to celebrate the conviction of local James Scramlin for the 1977 murder of their friend Albert Willard. The two friends had found Willard’s dead body in his home.

With not enough to go on, the case went cold. Unsolved for 33 years, it wasn’t until 2002 that the OC Crime Lab found another person’s DNA on Tobey’s clothes. In 2010, they learned that it matched Dalie’s DNA.

When the DNA match was found, Dalie was serving a 50-year prison sentence in Connecticut for the murder of his girlfriend in 1985 with a hammer. With the new DNA evidence LBPD reopened the case.

At the time of the murder, Dalie was 19 and working as a gardener in Laguna Beach and lived in Newport.

Dailie grew up in nearby Dana Point and was a graduate from Dana Hills High School.

Moss said, “No further details about this case will be available until they are presented in court.”

Man arrested twice in four hours for trespassing at same location

On Sunday, March 3, at 8:33 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Stop N Go, 1390 N Coast Hwy, in reference to a man refusing to leave the property.

According to police reports, the caller stated that customers were afraid of the man and that they requested the clerk walk outside with them.

 “Officers made several attempts to persuade Ira Britton to leave the property, however he still refused and was subsequently arrested for trespassing and released after the booking process at LBPD,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “At 12:21 p.m., Ira Britton returned to Stop N Go and continued to trespass and refused to leave. He was arrested again and transported to OCJ.”

Ira Lloyd Britton, 41, of Huntington Beach, was arrested for trespassing. Bail was set at $500.


Male allegedly disrobes and exposes self at beach

On Tuesday, March 5, at 11:49 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Table Rock Beach following reports of a male allegedly disrobing and exposing himself to beach goers.

“The subject approached women asking if they wanted him to rub lotion on them, then asked another group of girls if they wished to be in a porn movie with him,” LBPD Sgt Cota said. “The subject was contacted near the beach and cited for public nudity.”

Police Files

Man arrested four times in four days

On Wednesday, Feb 27, at 1:42 p.m., an LBPD officer contacted Kyle Winton at Main Beach in reference to reports he was creating a disturbance. He was described as a male wearing no shirt yelling at passersby.

“As the officer approached Winton, he witnessed Winton push two individuals on the boardwalk and run northbound on the grass. The officer tackled Winton on the grass and placed him under arrest for battery and resisting arrest,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. “Once Winton was arrested, he began manipulating his handcuffs in an attempt to escape officers.” 

Police Files Kyle WintonWilton was ultimately transported to the LBPD Jail, where he was booked and later released pending criminal charges.

Bail was set at $1,000.

On Thursday, Feb 28, at 4:08 p.m., at the 200 block of Broadway Street, Winton was allegedly throwing coins at LBPD Beach Patrol and walking into traffic. According to police records, the reason for LBPD contact was jaywalking.

Winton was detained, slipped his cuffs, and put in custody. He was arrested for resisting arrest and assault and battery.

Bail was set at $1,000.

On Friday, March 1, at 7:29 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the Laguna Presbyterian Church, at the 400 block of Forest Ave, for another complaint about Winton.

According to Sgt Cota, “He was intoxicated and causing a disturbance taking his clothes off at the cold weather shelter. Officers arrived and placed Winton under arrest for trespassing. The staff and the homeless subjects being sheltered were all very appreciative.”

Laguna Presbyterian Church offers an additional shelter when the weather is below a certain cold temperature, privately run by the church.

Bail was set at $500.

On Saturday, March 2, at 9:52 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 300 block of Broadway Street following the report of Winton creating another disturbance.

Officers arrived and contacted Kyle Winton. He was placed under arrest for trespassing. 

“After Winton was taken into custody, he spat at officers several times. One officer was struck on the side of his head. A spit mask was applied. Winton also refused to move and walk to the patrol car,” Sgt Cota said. “Officers were forced to physically carry Winton to the transport vehicle. The additional charges of assault on a police officer, battery on a police officer, and obstructing/delaying a police officer were added.” 

Because of Winton’s behavior, he was transported to OCJ by a jailer and an officer.

Bail was set at $2,000.

Tow truck crash last night closes Canyon for hours, results in major injury

On Monday, March 4, at about 5:30 p.m., a flatbed tow truck with a car on its flatbed lost its braking capabilities while exiting the southbound off-ramp of the 73 Freeway. 

“The tow truck collided into a car traveling on Laguna Canyon Road, which caused the tow truck to flip on its side and slide across the road,” Sgt Cot said. “The tow truck hit the guardrail with the car still on the flatbed and rolled down a ravine in the wilderness area next to Laguna Canyon Road. The tow driver was transported to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo with head trauma.” 

The passengers of the other vehicle were uninjured. Outbound Laguna Canyon Road was closed between El Toro Road and the 73 Freeway. Traffic was diverted to El Toro. Laguna Canyon Road was expected to be closed for about two hours. 

At 7 p.m. another alert from the City went out: “One inbound lane is open. Both outbound lanes [are] closed for another hour until the tow truck can be extracted. Heavy duty tow equipment is being utilized.”

40-foot Eucalyptus tree falls damaging two cars

On Saturday, March 2, at 3:09 p.m., LBPD received a report of a large tree falling and damaging two parked vehicles. The cars were described as a 2011 black Prius and a Toyota Corolla.

“The tree was a privately-owned Blue Gum or Eucalyptus Globulus located on the property at…El Bosque. We estimate that the tree was about 40-feet tall. We are unaware of any reports of injury,” said Shohreh Dupuis, Assistant City Manager, Director of Public Works. “Portions of the tree hit two vehicles. One in the driveway…and one parked in front [of the residence].”

Police Files tree falls crashing on car

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Photo by Mary Hurlbut

40-foot Eucalyptus tree falls after more rains, causing damage

Dupuis said Public Works has no information on the owner of the car parked on the street and no information on the level of damage to either vehicle as this was a private property issue.

When a private tree falls onto public roadways, in order to reopen the roadway, the emergency Public Works crew removes portions of the tree to the limits of the roadway, and up to the car on the street, explained Dupuis.

Police Files Tree falls on car

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Courtesy of LBPD

A huge Eucalyptus tree falls on two cars

“We do not remove private trees from private property or from cars that may be hit by private trees,” Dupuis said. “The portions of the tree in the roadway were removed by approximately 5:30 p.m. on March 2, the day of the incident. The Public Works.”

Black-masked burglar reported at Irvine Cove

On Friday, March 1, at 10:29 a.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of Irvine Cove Circle in reference a residential burglary investigation. The reporting party was the housekeeper. 

“She observed a large front window smashed. Officers searched the residence and determined a burglary did occur,” Sgt Cota said. “The homeowners were out of the country so an exact loss is unknown. Surveillance cameras show a male suspect wearing a black mask inside the residence three days prior.”

 The incident was documented and an investigation in ongoing.

LBPD debuts new patrol vehicles on Sunday

On Sunday, March 3, LBPD’s newly designed patrol vehicle hit Laguna’s streets.

“The department and I couldn’t be more excited. It is time to move on from the old, outdated white patrol vehicles and catch up with the rest of the county’s police vehicles,” Sgt Cota said. 


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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD’s newly designed police vehicles hit the streets on Sunday night

“We feel we have the best looking vehicles now in the county and the approval from all of the officers is overwhelming in support. A big thanks to Chief Farinella, City Manager John Pietig, and the LB City Council for their support,” Sgt Cota added.

Police Files

Local man rescued by lifeguard at Community Pool

On Sunday, Feb 25, at 12:22 p.m., LBPD officers and LBFD were dispatched with lights and sirens to the Community Pool at 670 Park Ave, in reference to a medical aid call. The patient was identified as a 78-year-old male and a Laguna Beach resident. 

“He appeared to have sustained a heart attack while swimming laps. He began to submerge under the water and the on-duty city lifeguard entered the pool and rescued the subject,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The lifeguard performed CPR on the subject who responded to the efforts and was transported to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo.”

Prowler flees from resident’s window when spotted

On Tuesday, Feb 26, at 10 a.m., an LBPD officer was dispatched to a residence in the 700 block of Pelican Drive in reference to a possible interrupted residential burglary.

“The property owners had an elderly house guest staying at their residence. The house guest reported that approximately one hour prior to calling dispatch, she observed an unknown male wearing dark clothing inside one of the bedrooms,” Sgt Cota said. “After being noticed, the male fled the residence via an open window. There was no forced entry, no loss, and no further description of the male suspect.”

 A report was taken.

Stolen Andrus Plumbing truck caught on camera driving out the Canyon

On Wednesday, Feb 27, at 7:28 a.m., an LBPD officer responded to 855 Glenneyre St in reference to a stolen Andrus Plumbing truck. The plumbing truck was reported stolen from their lot on Tuesday night, sometime between 5 p.m. and 1 a.m.

According to Sgt Cota, “City cameras recorded the truck going outbound on Laguna Canyon Road at 1:02 a.m. This incident has been turned over to detectives for follow-up.”

Animal Shelter needs donated dog blankets

 The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is in need of donated dog blankets. The shelter needs fabric dog blankets that can be washed, so no electric blankets. 

“Any assistance you can provide in helping to get the word out would be greatly appreciated by the animal shelter staff,” LBPD Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres said.

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd. For more information, call (949) 497-3552.

Police Files

Intoxicated, combative man arrested after cliff rescue at Whiskey Cove, reports LBPD

On Sunday, Feb 24, at 12:46 p.m., LBPD, LBFD, and Marine Safety personnel responded in reference to a cliff rescue at the 0 block of Smithcliffs. A male subject, later identified as John Wilson, was seen on the rocks and appeared to be stuck. 

 “Wilson was heavily intoxicated and uncooperative with first responders. OCSD’s helicopter responded to assist as Wilson scaled the cliffside,” LBPD PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “Wilson was able to get up and head northbound on the rocks to Emerald Bay where he began throwing rocks at Marine Safety personnel.”

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Courtesy of LBPD

OCDA helicopter rescues intoxicated man stuck on beach rocks, transports him to Riddle Field to finalize his arrest

Wilson then ended up making his way back southbound on the rocks to a secluded cove called Whiskey Cove, which was only accessible by a residence in the 100 block of McKnight Drive. 

“Wilson ended up falling on the rocks and was moving very slowly. The OCSD helicopter performed a hoist extraction on Wilson. Officers made contact with Wilson where he was immediately detained,” Sgt Cota said. “The OCSD helicopter took custody of Wilson along with an LBPD officer and transported them both to Riddle Field where they landed.”

Police Files John Wilson2

Courtesy of LBPD

John Wilson

Officers arrested John Andrew Wilson, 59, Laguna Beach, for resisting arrest and being drunk in public.

Bail was set at $1,000.

Animal Shelter no longer needs donated newspapers, thanks locals for all the generous donations

A few months ago, Stu News ran a piece about newspaper donations needed at the Animal Shelter. The response from locals has been overwhelmingly generous. 

“The Animal Shelter is overflowing with newspapers, the public has been very generous. However, the shelter is full of donated newspaper and has nowhere to store the excess newspapers that people are dropping off,” LBPD Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres said. “We would like to thank the community for their very generous response, but no additional donated newspapers are necessary at this time.”

Police Files

Bobcat accidentally hit by LBPD mending well

On Tuesday, Feb 19, at approximately 3:45 p.m., an on-duty LBPD officer hit an adult bobcat with his police vehicle in the 2700 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. 

“The bobcat ran across the highway in front of the officer’s vehicle and the officer was unable to avoid the collision. The officer immediately stopped and asked for an Animal Services Officer to respond,” LBPD Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres said. 

The animal services officer transported the injured bobcat to the Serrano Wildlife Hospital in Lake Forest. 

“As of today [Thursday, Feb 21], the bobcat is responding to treatment and doing very well,” Beres was happy to report.

Eucalyptus and other trees topple, causing damage

Over the past week, at least three trees have fallen in town causing damage, due to the heavy rains.

On Sunday, Feb 17, at 12:16 p.m. a large City-owned Red Ironbark Eucalyptus failed at 456 Locust St, falling partially on a resident’s property and partially on the road. The tree was estimated to be 50 feet tall.

Police Files Eucalyptus

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

A large 50-foot city-owned eucalyptus tree falls on private property

“The tree was uprooted and fell over on the fence in front of the home which was damaged. No other damage or injuries were reported,” said Shohreh Dupuis, Assistant City Manager/Director of Public Works.

Also on Sunday, Feb 17, at 1:23 p.m., a large City-maintained Torrey Pine tree fell on the County Flood Control Channel fence just above the Milligan Bridge, at Milligan Drive and Laguna Canyon Road.

 “The only damage was to the fence. Due to the size of the tree requiring a crane for removal which was not available that day, the tree was left in place and then removed on Monday,” Dupuis said.

Police Files Torrey Pine

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Courtesy of City of Laguna Beach

A City-owned Torrey Pine tree fell on the Laguna Channel fence on Sunday

On Monday, Feb 18, at 5:01 p.m., at the 600 block of Glenneyre Street, LBPD received an in-person report of a traffic collision involving a fallen tree. 

According to police records, the RP stated that a branch from a tree fell on his car and left moderate damage.

The RP was reportedly parked in his driveway when the tree limb from an adjacent property fell on his car causing the damage.

Stay tuned for more information from Public Works to be reported about fallen tree totals in an upcoming issue.

 “We are currently compiling a list of all failed or removed trees in the past month due to weather and the number of rockslide/mudslides and slope failures,” Dupuis said.

Police Files

Grenade found in local’s wall, Bomb Squad removes it

On Saturday, Feb 16, at 5:43 p.m., at the 1600 block of Thurston Drive, LBPD received a report of a found hand grenade on a fire block with the release lever missing. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “The residents had recently moved into the home and found an old hand grenade in a garage wall while making renovations.”

Police Files Grenade found

Courtesy of LBPD

Hand grenade found in garage wall while making renovations

 “Two members of the OCSD Bomb Squad responded. An X-ray of the grenade showed that it contained no filler, but they collected it in case it contained any residual powder. The device is believed to be a World War I era British hand grenade,” Sgt Cota said.

Husband struck crossing S Coast Hwy still in grave condition 

Last Wednesday, Feb 13, LBPD officers responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian collision on South Coast Hwy at Mountain Road. A husband and wife were crossing S Coast Hwy from the inland side to the ocean side. They had crossed the northbound lanes and the number one southbound lane, where a vehicle stopped. 

As the male crossed into the number two southbound lane, he was struck by a southbound vehicle who had failed to stop.

“The injured male is 79 years old and still in grave condition. He is from Indio, California and was here on his anniversary,” Sgt Cota said. “The injuries to the male were severe and he was transported to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo. Alcohol was not a factor. The traffic investigation is ongoing.”

Locals report encountering mountain lion while hiking

According to Nextdoor, a hiker who lives in Bluebird Canyon recently encountered a mountain lion while hiking to Laurel Canyon Waterfall in Laguna Beach. Right before he and fellow hikers found the falls they had a brief standoff with the large wildcat, he reports.

“From about 20 yards, the large cat turned to us to decide what to do while we stood frozen. We barely had enough time to just broaden our shoulders, in an attempt to seem larger, and he turned on the trail and trotted away. We continued with caution yelling calls and tossing rocks into the bush. 

We brandished club size sticks whacking at bushes along the trail. There were no signs of tracks and no more sightings. Anyone planning to hike there should be aware that a big cat roams that territory. We would not have been carelessly walking the trail so quietly if we had known the danger that could be around the next corner. 

Remember to always have a plan in the wild and continue to make noise so predators make themselves scarce well before you unexpectedly come upon them. Good luck, stay safe.”

Several locals on Nextdoor responded to the post saying they also had mountain lion sightings in Laguna Beach over the years.

Bus gets stuck on Agate Street, needs to be pulled out

Police Files Bus Stuck

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Photo by Keith Greer

On Sunday, Feb 17, around 9 a.m., a bus reportedly tried to go up Agate Street next to Mozambique and got stuck. The bus had to be jacked up and pulled out via a semi-trailer wrecker. It took at least an hour.

Police Files

Husband struck by car while walking with wife in grave condition

On Wednesday, Feb 13, at 7:14 p.m., LBPD officers responded to a vehicle versus pedestrian traffic collision on S Coast Hwy at Mountain Road. According to reports, a husband and wife were crossing S Coast Hwy from the inland side to the ocean side. They had crossed the northbound lanes and the number one southbound lane. A southbound vehicle in the number one southbound lane had stopped as the couple entered that lane. 

“As the male crossed into the number two southbound lane, he was struck by a southbound vehicle who had failed to stop,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The injuries to the male were severe and he was transported to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo. Alcohol was not a factor. The traffic investigation is ongoing.”

Duo busted for meth and heroin, male brings drug contraband into jail

On Monday, Feb 1, at 12:50 a.m., an officer conducted a traffic stop at S Coast Hwy and Jasmine Street. An investigation was conducted and a background check revealed Oceanside resident Beau Aguirre had an outstanding no bail warrant from San Diego. Officer Kraus also located heroin inside of his vehicle. 

“Aguirre was on probation and a probation hold was placed on him,” Sgt Cota said. “The female passenger, Natalie Gholomhossani, was also arrested for possession of methamphetamine and heroin.” 

They were both transported to LBPD for booking. In the jail, Aguirre was seen by Jailer Salgado attempting to put some type of contraband in his private parts.

“A strip search was conducted and a bindle of drugs was seen. Aguirre refused to remove the bindle. Aguirre was placed in the holding cell while being prepared to be transported to MHLB,” Sgt Cota said. “Prior to his transport, Aguirre can be seen on the jail cameras extracting the bindle of drugs, ripping the plastic bag, and then shoving it into the drain of the holding cell that contained water destroying it.” 

Aguirre was medically cleared and taken to OCJ. Gholomhossani was booked and released with a court date.

Natalie Gholomhossani, 20, of Laguna Niguel, was arrested for being in possession of a controlled substance without a prescription and a narcotic controlled substance. Bail was set at $1,000.

Beau Campbell Aguirre, 23, Oceanside, was arrested for being in possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, a narcotic controlled substance, bringing a controlled substance into jail, and violating probation. No bail was set.

Read more Police Files on our Front Page II – click here

Police Files (Cont.)

Storms rain havoc and destruction with flooding across the City, resulting in downtown and Canyon closures

A winter storm forecasted to hit Laguna Beach and the Southern California area this week packed a punch as promised, causing flooding in the Canyon and downtown areas especially on Thursday, Feb 14, resulting in myriad closures around the City.

LagunaCanyonFlooding one

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Photo by Marielena Verdugo

The Canyon was hit hard with flooding on Thursday

On Tuesday morning, Laguna Beach sent out a Nixle warning in anticipation of storm: “The Weather Service is advising a winter storm which will impact Laguna Beach Wednesday - Thursday.”

The warning said to expect intermittent periods of rain and potential localized flooding. During the storm, some homes were flooded and businesses had to close.

On Thursday at 10:33 a.m., the Boys & Girls Club of Laguna Beach advised that the Canyon branch was closed due to flooding and that, “Top of the World, El Morro, and Thurston District Club members will be rerouted to the Lang Park Branch at 21540 Wesley Drive.” The Boys & Girls Club also strongly urged parents to pick up their children directly from school because of the severe weather.

LagunaCanyonFlooding two

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Photo by Marielena Verdugo

The storm channel on the verge of collapsing, succumbs to the elements

Four minutes later, a Nixle alert was put out at 10:37 a.m., reporting, “Localized flooding is currently occurring on Laguna Canyon Road at El Toro Road. Use caution when driving.” 

The warning swiftly changed, alerting that many areas in Laguna had been heavily impacted by flooding. The Canyon was closed between Canyon Acres and El Toro Road, as well as both directions of El Toro Road at the 73 Toll Road, and downtown at Broadway Street between Beach Street and Coast Highway. The closures remained in effect all day, anticipated to last until at least 5 p.m., according to Nixle.

The storm channel collapsed between the Boys & Girls Club and the Sawdust, causing additional strife.

LagunaCanyonFlooding three

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Photo by Marielena Verdugo

Some places roar like the Colorado River down the Canyon

The Susi Q Center opened its doors and was activated as a care and reception center/shelter for people in need and their pets because of safety concerns.

At 3:45 p.m., City Digital Communications Coordinator Jennifer Chapman reported on Nextdoor: “The rain has largely finished for today. The forecast calls for light, scattered showers this evening. We may have additional rain showers on Sunday. All downtown streets are open again. Evacuations have been lifted for Sun Valley Road and all others evacuated from low-lying areas in Laguna Canyon, including clients of the Alternate Sleeping Location. 

LagunaCanyonFlooding four

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Photo by Marielena Verdugo

Land and trees are swallowed up

Clients of the ASL are being transported back to the ASL from the Neighborhood Congregational Church. CalTrans crews are working remove debris to reopen Laguna Canyon Road. However, residents with proper identification may return to their homes.

The beach access points for Treasure Island, Crescent Bay, Bluebird, Victoria, Boat Canyon, [and] Main Beach…are closed. We are informally calling this ‘The Love Storm’ because it occurred on Valentine’s Day. This is the final update for the day.”


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Photo by Marielena Verdugo

Both sides of the Canyon get buried in water

Nixle helped too offering a sigh of relief when it was reported that all downtown closures had been lifted as of 4 p.m. “Downtown businesses and restaurants should be open for Valentine’s.”

It wasn’t until 5:58 p.m. that Laguna Canyon Road was open in both directions.

Stu News readers reported flooding and damage, but the exact amount is still unknown.

The Montage Resort too suffered a fallen eucalyptus tree, as reported by Stu News reader John Trevino of Villa Real Estate. He said, “I’m glad it didn’t fall on PCH.”

John Trevino 2

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Photo by John Trevino

A eucalyptus tree falls at the Montage blocking a walkway

The rain total in Laguna Beach has been 2.87 inches over the past two days and 3.03 inches over the past three days, according to OC Public Works.

Mother Nature makes a splash 

LagunaCanyonFlooding waterfalls MarielenaVerdugo 25

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Photo by Marielena Verdugo

Local Marielena Verdugo captures waterfalls in the Canyon caused by the storm

LagunaCanyon waterfall

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Photo by Marielena Verdugo

The ‘Valentine’s Day Storm’ brought new perspective to the Canyon 

Police Files

Suspected DUI driver arrested following high-risk pursuit in the canyon

On Sunday, Feb 10, at 2:52 a.m., an LBPD officer was in the canyon near the dog park when she began to follow a possible DUI driver driving a 2014 BMW 535i outbound on Laguna Canyon Road.

“The officer attempted to initiate a traffic stop on the vehicle near the 73 Toll Road. The vehicle did not yield or react in any way,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The officer went in pursuit of the vehicle. After a short distance, the vehicle yielded. A high-risk vehicle stop was initiated and the driver was ultimately detained.”

A DUI investigation was conducted and the driver was identified. Joseph Paul Digiulio, 23, of Newport Beach, was arrested on suspicion of DUI.

Bail was set at $2,500.

Heavy rain a real downer for trees

The deluge of rain and high wind over the past few weeks has been a real downer for trees in Laguna Beach, literally, with reports of downed trees. Sadly, the saga continues with two more logged into the LBPD police logs. 

On Saturday, Feb 9, at 11:04 a.m., at the 700 block of Wilson Street, LBPD received a report referencing a tree falling on electrical wires. According to police records, the tree in the backyard had fallen into wires and the wires were hanging low. Edison was called.

Later that same day, at 3:01 p.m., LBPD received a report in reference to a fallen tree biting the dust at the 600 block of Cliff Drive. According to police records, “the large tree fell onto the walkway, blocking the stairs.” No one was injured and LBPD called Public Works. According to police logs, a tree cutting service was enroute to cut the tree down. Public Works remained on scene until the service arrived.

Looking ahead – it seems more rain is on its way, along with wind gusts as high as 25 mph on Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Diamond found near Naked Dog

On Wednesday, Feb 6, at 4:21 p.m., LBPD received a report in reference to found property. According to police records, the RP found a diamond ring near the Naked Dog Bistro on Forest Avenue, also near Laguna Beach Animal Hospital.

The RP was asked to fill out a finders’ affidavit. If you or someone you know lost their diamond ring by the Naked Dog, call LBPD’s non-emergency line at (949) 497-0701.

Police Files

Suspected explosive device closes Thalia St Beach 

On Tuesday, Feb 5, at 4:56 pm, LBPD officers responded to a suspicious item that washed up on Thalia Street Beach, at the 100 block of Thalia Street. The RP was advised not to handle it.

“Officers and Laguna Beach Lifeguards arrived on scene and located a small cylindrical canister. It was identified as a Naval sea marker,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “OCSD Bomb Squad was contacted, the beach was closed off, and officers along with LB lifeguards remained on scene.”

Police Files Explosive Device

Courtesy of LBPD

A suspicious device washed up at Thalia Street Beach, closing the beach – OCSD Bomb Squad was called in 

 OCSD Bomb Squad arrived a short time later and removed the canister for disposal. The sea marker was described to be silver and 18 inches in length, with “CCC” on the side, according to police reports.

Alleged battery at library, woman transported to hospital

On Monday, Feb 4, at 4:43 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to the Laguna Beach Library parking lot, at the 300 block of Glenneyre Street, in reference to a battery investigation. 

“The victim advised that her boyfriend, Javier Blas, kneed her in the stomach and fled,” Sgt Cota said. “She was transported to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach for complaint of pain.”

Police Files BlasAccording to police records, the RP reported that the “suspect put his knee in her ribs and cracked a rib.”

Javier Hommy Blas, 32, of Laguna Beach, was located at Main Beach and taken into custody on domestic battery charges.

Bail was set at $10,000.

According to Stu News Laguna records, Blas was previously arrested by LBPD on October 10, 2018 for allegedly carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, and on December 29, 2018 for possession of alcohol in a public place and obstructing/resisting arrest.

Taken to the cleaners: iPhone stolen at laundromat

On Monday, Feb 4, at 5:04 p.m., an LBPD officer was dispatched in response to a petty theft report in the 1000 block of South Coast Highway. 

“The victim stated that his Apple iPhone 8 was stolen from the laundromat. He stated that he had his Apple iPhone charging in a wall charger as he went outside to put laundry in his vehicle,” Sgt Cota said.

According to the victim, he placed a magazine over the phone so it wouldn’t look obvious. He was away from the phone for less than one minute and then it was taken.

The value of loss was approximately $600. The case will be submitted to detectives to see if any surveillance cameras recorded the theft.

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