few clouds


Laguna Beach

Police Files

Alleged DUI rollover crash rocks the night

On Friday, Oct 25, at 11:31 p.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel responded to the area of Laguna Royale and South Coast Highway for the report of a rollover traffic collision. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Cota, “Emergency personnel arrived and found that a northbound Honda CRV had struck a parked Ford F550 truck. The Honda rolled onto its side as a result of the collision.” 

Police Files DUI rollover crash

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD

Local woman arrested for alleged DUI after rollover traffic collision

According to police records, pedestrians assisted the 42-year-old female driver out of her vehicle.

Sgt Cota said, “The driver of the Honda, a Laguna Beach resident, only received minor cuts and declined medical attention. She was arrested for [an alleged] DUI.”

Bail was set at $2,500.

Two loaded syringes found in two days

According to police, on Sunday, Oct 27, at 12:19 p.m., an LBPD officer contacted two homeless subjects, Kenneth Koestler and a female, inside the Legion Laundromat at the 300 block of Legion Street. 

According to Sgt Cota, “Koestler was in possession of heroin and two loaded syringes. He was placed in custody for possession of a controlled substance, possession of narcotic paraphernalia, and violation of a court order.” 

Bail was $15,000.

The day before, on Saturday, Oct 26, at approximately 7:37 a.m., a found syringe was reported to LBPD.

According to Sgt Cota, “I was dispatched to a report of a found syringe located in the 800 block of Park Avenue. The syringe was loaded with a dark colored substance inside of it. The syringe was capped and the needle was not exposed.” 

Sgt Cota said, “The syringe was confiscated and booked for destruction at the Laguna Beach Police Department. This was not in front of the school.”

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

Update on brutal killing of cat witnessed by LBPD officers

On Saturday, Oct 19, at 1:14 a.m., LBPD officers responded to the 400 block of Hill Street in reference to a male suspect reportedly in the middle of the street screaming and yelling, gripping a cat in his hand. 

Despite LBPD’s efforts to save the cat and stop the suspect, including tasering him twice, according to police, the suspect, Joey L Gabaldon, 52, violently killed the cat in front of officers.

Following the incident, Gabaldon was transported to Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach for a medical clearance prior to being transported to OC Jail. His bail was set at $25,000.

As outreach to the community and in response to this horrific event that has locals up in arms, LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota wrote a letter addressing Laguna residents:

“Dear Laguna Beach residents,

The Laguna Beach Police Department Major Crimes Unit is currently conducting a thorough investigation into the unfortunate killing of a cat that occurred this past weekend. 

It has come to our attention that some residents may have been going to the cat owner’s residence to speak with her as well as calling the police department and requesting welfare checks on any pets at the residence. 

Based on our investigation, it has been determined that the female owner of the cat was not involved in the cat’s killing.

Laguna Beach detectives are working with Laguna Beach Animal Control officers and the deceased cat’s owner to ensure that any other pets at the residence are safe. 

The suspect in this incident is currently in custody at the Orange County Jail for multiple charges including felony animal cruelty and does not currently have access to any pets.

The Laguna Beach Police Department requests that everyone respect the privacy of the pet owner while she grieves the loss of her pet. Any further questions can be directed to the Investigations Division by calling (949) 497-0370 or (949) 497-0371.

Thank you,

Sergeant Jim Cota

Laguna Beach PD”

Meth found in stolen auto, driver nailed and jailed

On Monday, Oct 21, at 11:46 a.m., LBPD Officers were alerted to an alleged stolen vehicle traveling southbound on North Coast Highway. The vehicle was a blue 2018 Toyota Sienna reported stolen from Lake Elsinore. Officers located the vehicle at Legion Street and South Coast Highway. 

According to Sgt Cota, “The vehicle turned into the Chevron gas station and was contacted. Officers detained the driver, Lake Elsinore resident Matthew Williams. Inside the vehicle, officers located methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.” 

Sgt Cota said, “Matthew Allen Williams, 27, was arrested for felony auto theft, driving on a suspended driver’s license, and possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia.”

No bail was set.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is tomorrow, drop off unwanted prescriptions at LBPD

On Saturday, Oct 26, between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the Laguna Beach Police Department will be partnering with the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to host the DEA’s 18th annual National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day addresses a crucial public safety and health issue. In 2017, approximately six million Americans misused controlled prescription drugs. The majority of abused prescription drugs were obtained from family and friends, often from the home medicine cabinet. 

The DEA’s National Prescription Drug Take Back Day provides an opportunity for citizens to prevent drug addiction and overdose.

The City and LBPD are excited to make a difference and partner with the community to help combat drug addiction and overdose. The service is free and anonymous, with no questions asked. Last fall, citizens turned in nearly 460 tons (more than 900,000 pounds) of prescription drugs at more than 5,800 sites operated by the DEA and almost 4,800 state and local law enforcement partners.

The National Prescription Drug Take Back Day drop spot will be located in front of LBPD. Several members of our Police Department will be there to greet community members and assist in the disposal of their prescription drugs. 

The Police Department will not be accepting hypodermic needles. As a reminder, the usual methods of disposing of unused medications, flushing them down the toilet or throwing them in the trash, both pose potential safety and health hazards.

According to Sgt Cota, “It’s not every day that we get the opportunity to combat such an epidemic together, but the City and the Police Department are enthused to be able to take part in this initiative.”

For further information, contact Sgt Cota at (949) 464-6671 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

Local man arrested on suspicion of violently killing cat

On Saturday, Oct 19, at 1:14 a.m., LBPD officers responded to the 400 block of Hill Street in reference to a male subject reportedly in the middle of the street screaming and yelling. 

LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said, “The first officer on scene observed a male subject screaming and yelling holding a cat in his right hand raised in the air. The officer gave the subject verbal commands, which he did not comply with. He immediately started walking, yelling unintelligible words.

“The officer continued to give verbal commands prior to deploying his Taser, which had no effect on the subject. The male continued to walk toward the officer,” Sgt Cota said. 

“A second officer arrived on scene and the male subject immediately started walking toward that officer with the cat in his hand. The male subject got to the hood of the second officers’ police vehicle and began hitting the cat on the hood of the vehicle.

“A second Taser deployment was administered, which had an effect on the subject as he fell to the ground. Additional officers arrived on scene and were able to take the subject into custody.”

The officers took the deceased cat away from the subject, Sgt Cota said.

“Officers were able to identify where the male subject lived and ultimately where he had been abusing the cat prior to the arrival of officers. We identified the male subject as Laguna Beach resident Joey Gabaldon.”

Gabaldon was transported to Mission Hospital in Laguna Beach for a medical clearance prior to being transported to OC Jail. 

Sgt Cota said, “Joey L Gabaldon, 52, was arrested for [alleged] animal cruelty, resisting an executive officer, and resisting arrest.”

Bail was set at $25,000.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Suspicious couple in van reportedly harass students

On Wednesday, Oct 16, at 7:47 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 600 block of Park Avenue after a caller reported that her teenage son and his friend were approached by two people in an old maroon Ford Econoline van. 

Sgt Cota said, “The occupants in the van were described as a male and female in their 40s. The female passenger [reportedly] asked the boys how old they were and what they were going to dress up as for Halloween.”

According to the boys, they tried ignoring her. 

Sgt Cota said, “The woman [reportedly] asked the boys why they were ignoring her as the driver continued following them down the street. Their odd behavior frightened the boys, who ended up running away from the van. The boys contacted their parents and told them what happened.”

Officers later found the van in the area. Information from the van was obtained for further investigation.

Former PIMCO CEO and local Douglas Hodge pleads guilty in college bribery scandal

On Monday, Oct 21, Douglas Hodge, 61, Laguna Beach resident and former PIMCO CEO, one of the world’s largest money management firms, pleaded guilty in Boston federal court to conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering in connection with the largest reported college bribery scandal in history.

Hodge, who was accused in March of paying $525,000 to have his son and daughter admitted as purported football and soccer recruits to USC and Georgetown, had previously maintained his innocence.

According to media reports, Hodge said in a statement that he took “full and complete responsibility” for his crimes and apologized to his family and “deserving college students who may have been adversely impacted by this process.”

“I acted out of love for my children,” Hodges said, “but I know that this explanation for my actions is not an excuse.”

Former Laguna Beach residents, fashion designer Mossimo Giannulli, 55, and his well-known actress wife Lori Loughlin, 54, of Los Angeles, were charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. They still maintain their innocence.

More than 50 people were charged by the U.S. Department of Justice in the largest reported college admissions bribery scandal in U.S. history, dubbed “Varsity Blues” by the FBI.

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

Man convicted of hate crime for punching African American man at local grocery store

On Thursday, Oct 17, a jury found a San Clemente man guilty of a felony hate crime for sucker punching an African American man, who was working at Whole Foods Market in downtown Laguna.

The attack left the victim with a broken nose and severe damage to his two front teeth.

Fernando Ramirez, 23, of San Clemente, was convicted of one felony count of battery with serious bodily injury, one misdemeanor violation of civil rights by force, and a felony hate crime enhancement.

Police Files Fernando RamirezThe 26-year-old victim was working at the local Whole Foods, at the 200 block of Broadway Street, on June 15, at 9:56 a.m., when Ramirez ran up behind him and punched him in the face. The victim did not know his attacker.

After his arrest, Ramirez went on a rant filled with racial epithets that targeted African Americans, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

“Hate does not belong in Orange County,” said Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer. “If you commit a crime motivated by hate, I can promise you the Orange County District Attorney’s Office will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

At the time of the crime, LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said, “Without instigation, the RP said the suspect ran towards the victim and punched him in the face. The suspect fled the scene and was located shortly after in the 500 block of South Coast Highway. The force of the punch fractured the victim’s nose. He was subsequently taken into custody for felony battery.” 

Ramirez has a prior felony state prison sentence for a 2014 gang related felony assault. He was sentenced to two years in state prison.

Ramirez is scheduled to be sentenced on December 13. He faces a maximum of eight years in state prison. Senior Deputy District Attorney Paul Chrisopoulos prosecuted this case.

Alleged Cleo Street roof prowler arrested

On Tuesday, Oct 15, at 2:18 a.m., LBPD officers responded to the 100 block of Cleo Street for the report of the sound of someone either on the property or on the roof.

According to Sgt Cota, “Officers arrived and found Carson resident Marlon Hardin on the roof of an adjacent residence. When officers illuminated Hardin to detain him, he tried to climb down and fell into an alley. Hardin immediately got up and ran from the officers.

“Hardin ran into an enclosed yard with nowhere to go. He surrendered and was taken into custody without incident,” Sgt Cota said. 

Marlon Edward Hardin, 31, was arrested for alleged prowling and resisting arrest.

Bail was set at $500.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

Wild car chase ends with vehicle located but suspect nowhere in sight, vehicle reached 110 mph

On Saturday, Oct 12, at 2:01 a.m., an LBPD officer initiated a traffic stop of a possible DUI driver, in the area of Mountain Street and South Coast Highway.

According to Sgt Cota, “The driver failed to yield and fled southbound on South Coast Highway at a high rate of speed into the city of Dana Point. OCSD joined the pursuit as the suspect continued southbound on Coast Highway. The pursuit was terminated when officers lost visual of the suspect near the I-5 freeway in Capistrano Beach.”

“An area search was conducted, but the suspect could not be located. His vehicle was later located unoccupied. LBPD took custody of the vehicle and towed it back to LBPD for CSI,” Sgt Cota said. 

According to Sgt Cota, the vehicle was a BMW and registered to the mother of the driver. Speeds allegedly exceeded 110 mph. 

“It is still under investigation but an arrest could still be made,” Sgt Cota said.

Tesla damaged by fallen tree

On Thursday, Oct 10, at 7:06 p.m., at the 200 block of Arroyo Chico, LBPD received a report in reference to a large tree falling on a car. The car was reported to be a Tesla.

According to police records, “there were no injuries but [there was] extensive damage to the vehicle and a nearby wall.”

Police files Tree falls on Tesla

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Caroline Wright

Tesla gets nailed by fallen tree

Dispatch records suggested the tree may have been owned by the City. However, Assistant City Manager Shohreh Dupuis said, “This is not a city owned and maintained tree.”

Man gets scammed out of thousands thinking he was putting down deposit on a property

On Wednesday, Oct 9, at 6:41 p.m., LBPD received a report regarding a local man scammed out of money by a fake real estate agent.

“According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, “This was a front counter report at the police department. The RP reported that he put down a deposit of $5,800 down for a home in Aliso Viejo through an alleged real estate agent. The RP went to the location and found out after talking to the actual real estate agent that he was scammed.”

According to police records, the RP said the suspect was still waiting for him to send more money.

Sgt Cota said, “A report was taken and sent to Investigations. There have been no reports of similar activity that I have heard of.”

Fire at The Greeter’s Corner causes traffic 

woes but no injuries or significant damage

On Saturday, Oct 12, at 10:56 p.m., LBFD responded to The Greeter’s Corner restaurant, at the 300 block of S Coast Hwy, in reference to a fire. 

According to police records, the caller reported “seeing flames inside the restaurant and smoke coming from the roof.”

According to LBFD Captain Crissy Teichmann, “Crews on scene reported a kitchen fire that was extinguished by the internal suppression system.”

She said that she was not aware of any injuries. The fire did not extend outside the kitchen area or to any other buildings or businesses. 

 Capt Teichmann said, “Anytime there is a kitchen fire at a restaurant and an internal suppression system is activated the business must go through the appropriate authorizing authority and process to get the kitchen back functioning and in working order prior to opening again.”

LBPD sent out a Nixle traffic alert for southbound South Coast Highway at Laguna Avenue for an hour.

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

Two suspects arrested for allegedly stealing nonprofit donation jar

On Friday, Oct 4, at 12:33 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Ralphs, at the 700 block of S Coast Hwy, in reference to an alleged theft investigation. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “A nonprofit organization had a donation table on display in front of the store. An unknown male stole the donation jar containing approximately $300 and fled in a waiting vehicle.” 

An officer located the alleged involved vehicle on Victory Walk, a street off Laguna Canyon Road. 

Sgt Cota said, “The occupants were identified as Tyler Porter and Bryan Solis. It was determined they were the theft suspects from Ralphs.” 

Bryan Olmos Solis, 18, of Riverside, and Tyler Shane Porter, 25, of Corona, were arrested for alleged theft and conspiracy.

Bail was set at $500 for Solis. Bail was set at $5,500 for Porter.

Alleged DUI driver slams into stairwell on Coast Hwy

On Saturday, Oct 5, at 11:39 p.m., an LBPD officer located a dark gray Toyota Tacoma that collided into the stairwell at 540 South Coast Highway, near GG’s Bistro.

According to Sgt Cota, “The Tacoma was involved in a traffic collision at Legion Street and South Coast Highway prior to hopping the curb and colliding into the stairwell wall.”

Police Files Traffic Collision

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

Car careens into stairwell on South Coast Highway, no injuries reported

Sgt Cota said, “The driver, Gonzalo Brandon Menjivar, 22, of Santa Ana was arrested for [an alleged] DUI. No injuries were sustained during the traffic collision.

Bail was set at $2,500.

Cleaning crew thwarts male suspect from burglarizing Las Brisas, man still at large

On Saturday, Oct 5, at 1:49 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Las Brisas, at the 300 block of Cliff Drive, for an attempted burglary. 

According to Sgt Cota, “The male suspect, wearing a black jacket and black pants, broke the bottom left window pane of the front door and was attempting to make entry inside.” 

The cleaning crew heard the broken glass and scared away the suspect on foot. 

Sgt Cota said, “An area check was conducted but the suspect was not located. No loss was reported other than the broken window pane.”

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

Grand theft suspect arrested for allegedly stealing rings from downtown jeweler

On Monday, Sept 30, at 4:19 p.m., a grand theft report was taken for Richard Tawtel Jewelry at the 200 block of North Coast Highway. 

According to LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock, “The reporting party stated two displays of rings were stolen at approximately 11 a.m. The RP discovered the grand theft while reviewing surveillance footage. The approximate loss totaled $4,000.

Based on surveillance footage, an officer located a subject matching the description. Realizing it was the same suspect as in the surveillance, the officer placed him under arrest,” Villwock said.

The suspect was also identified by the victim in a photographic lineup.

“Further investigation revealed that that suspect pawned two of the three rings at a pawn shop in Dana Point. The victim positively identified the two rings and they were returned,” Villwock said. 

The suspect, John Louis Whelpley, 49, of San Clemente, was arrested for alleged grand theft and violating parole.

No bail was set.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

Spate of properties vandalized via eggs

On Sunday, Sept 29, there seemed to be a spate of vandalism across town involving eggs.

The first incident occurred at 8:34 a.m. at the 3100 block of Alta Laguna Boulevard. LBPD received a report regarding vandalism that occurred at the caller’s residence. The house was reportedly egged the night before.

Then, at 10:55 a.m., at Hillcrest Drive and Grandview Street, LBPD received a report in reference to a “vehicle getting egged.”

The third egging incident was reported at 12:14 p.m. at the 800 block of Bluebird Canyon Drive. Again, another house was the egged target.

“It’s unknown if they are related, however, none of the victims had permanent damage and were not desirous of a report,” Villwock said.

LBPD Road Safety Expo is coming up next Sunday 

Hundreds of people are expected to attend LBPD’s popular Road Safety Expo on Sunday, Oct 13, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at TOW Elementary School, located at 21601 Treetop Lane.

The expo will include a BMX freestyle team performance by Robert Castillo’s team, Skatedogs Mobile Skatepark Clinic, featuring quarter pipes, rails, boxes, and launch ramps, an auto-extrication demo from LBFD, a bicycle obstacle course, raffle prizes, face painting, a bounce house, a booth where child identification cards will be made, and much more.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “Attendance of the event is free for all ages. Food trucks will be at the event and have food items available for purchase.” 

For more information, visit LBPD’s Facebook page at

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

Two men arrested in alleged attack on trolley driver

On Saturday, Sept 21, at 12:16 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the area of Diver’s Cove to check the welfare of a city trolley driver. The trolley was traveling south on Cliff Drive and stopped at a designated loading zone. 

According to reports, a male subject attempted to board the trolley. The driver noticed the subject was allegedly intoxicated and informed him that he was not permitted to board. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “The homeless subject became upset and began yelling at the driver. He then boarded the trolley and [allegedly] punched the driver several times in the face and chest. The driver activated the emergency button on the trolley and requested police assistance.” 

Sgt Cota said, “During the [alleged] attack, a passenger on the trolley intervened and pulled the homeless subject away from the driver. At this time, a separate known homeless subject, who was already a passenger on the trolley, became upset that the other passenger intervened, so he [allegedly] attacked that intervening passenger.”

Both subjects then fled the trolley and were located by officers. They were both arrested for several charges. 

Sgt Cota said, “The driver complained of pain so LBFD responded and evaluated him. The driver was ultimately transported to Mission Hospital, Laguna Beach.”

“Homeless subject Daniel William Delrosario, 27, was arrested for a litany of alleged charges including robbery, assault and battery, and a parole violation,” Sgt Cota said. 

No bail was set for Delrosario.

Robert Ruiz Peralta, 38, was also arrested for battery and violation of a court order. 

Peralta’s bail was set at $15,000.

LBPD responds to burglary in progress call on Sunday, suspect still at large 

On Sunday morning, Sept 22, at 4:05 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Milano Eyewear, at 729 S Coast Hwy, in reference to an alleged burglary in progress. 

The owner of the business also called 911 and advised he could see a male wearing a black shirt, black shorts, and a blue ski mask inside the business ransacking his eyeglasses inventory.

Police Files Burglary

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

LBPD seeks help identifying this burglary suspect

According to Sgt Cota, “Officers quickly arrived on scene and determined the front glass door had been smashed and the inside of the business had been ransacked.” 

Sgt Cota continued, “Officers began a citywide search for any associated vehicles or suspicious persons in the area. CSI was conducted inside and outside the business. Major Crimes Investigations detectives were requested and arrived shortly thereafter.”

The incident will be handled by detectives moving forward. If anyone has any information involving this incident, please contact LBPD Detective Ocampo at (949) 497-0371 or Detective Gensemer at (949) 497-0370.

San Clemente man busted with cash and drugs

On Sunday, Sept 22, at 11:26 p.m., LBPD officers made a traffic stop at the rear of Laguna Beach Library, at 363 Glenneyre St, and detained San Clemente resident Jonathan Ditmer. 

According to Sgt Cota, “A search of his car resulted in the discovery of a large amount of marijuana, marijuana concentrate (wax), marijuana edibles, THC vaping cartridges, cocaine, methamphetamine, LSD, GHB, assorted drug paraphernalia, supporting documents, and over $11,000 in cash.”

Police Files drugs and cash

Click on photo for a larger image

Submitted photo

San Clemente man arrested on litany of alleged drug charges by the library on Sunday

Jonathan Ditmer, 44, was arrested on a litany of drug related charges, according to Sgt Cota.

Bail was set at $25,000. 

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

33-foot sailboat lands on Main Beach Thursday morning

On Thursday, Sept 19, at 5:08 a.m., Marine Safety received a 911 call for a large Morgan sailboat run aground at north Main Beach.

According to Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond, “Lifeguards responded and found a 33-foot sailboat on the beach. Lifeguards were able to rescue two subjects and bring them safely to shore.”

Neither the male or female subjects needed medical attention. Capt Bond reported that they were both adults. He did not have information regarding their ages or city of residence.

Sailboat on Main Beach

Click on photo for a larger image 

Photo by Scott Brashier

33-foot sailboat lands on the beach early Thursday morning

Capt Bond said, “Inattention caused the accident. I’m not sure of their destination. But at approximately 10:15 a.m. [Thursday] morning, Towboat US was able to move the boat by water and tow it to Dana Point Harbor.”

The conditions were green flag and the surf was about 2-3 feet when the incident occurred.

Capt Bond advised, “Whenever boating be aware of your surroundings and stay at least 200 feet from the shore off of City beaches.” 

Arrest made following jacking of Jaguar from Frank’s Motorcars

On Monday, Sept 16, at 9:30 a.m., an LBPD officer responded to Frank’s Motorcars, at the 900 block of S Coast Highway, regarding a stolen vehicle report.

According to Sgt Cota, “An employee reported that a 2004 Jaguar XJ was stolen from the lot at approximately 9 a.m. The vehicle’s plate was checked on city cameras. The last record captured the vehicle traveling into the city on Friday, Sept 13, but there was no record of it leaving.”

An area check was conducted, but the vehicle was not found. Later in the shift, Brea Police Department contacted our department after locating the occupied vehicle due to a LoJack hit.

Sgt Cota said, “The driver, Derrick Yates, was placed in custody and taken to St. Jude’s Hospital in Fullerton for a medical clearance after he claimed he ingested drugs.”

According to police records, Derrick Adam Yates, 28, was arrested for alleged vehicle theft and possession of a stolen vehicle.

Jailers took custody of the arrestee and transported him back to LBPD.

Bail was set at $40,000.

Military flare found on Emerald Bay Beach

According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, “On Tuesday, Sept 17, at 6:01 p.m., LBFD personnel and one LBPD officer responded to 600 Emerald Bay to assist OCSD personnel with a military phosphorous flare that had washed onto the beach. 

LBPD officers assisted with closing a street and were cleared from the call after 45 minutes.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison

Police Files

San Diego man arrested in hit and run involving pedestrian

On Wednesday, Sept 11, at 9:25 p.m., a hit and run incident involving a pedestrian occurred at South Coast Highway and Cleo Street.

According to police records, the suspect was driving a blue Ford Mustang when he struck the victim. Video surveillance matched with the possible suspect’s vehicle’s description. 

The driver was from San Diego and was arrested by San Diego Police Department officers shortly after midnight. The suspect had “front end damage and a cracked windshield.”

Lorenzo Velazquez Urbano, 31, was arrested for alleged hit and run resulting in death or injury.

The status of the victim is unknown. 

A Nixle report was issued regarding the closure of Legion Street at South Coast Highway.

 Bail was set at $20,000.

Man arrested after allegedly shooting replica Glock at vehicle in alleged “road rage incident”

On Saturday, Sept 14, at 3:46 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the area of North Coast Highway and Chiquita Street for reports of shots fired into a vehicle. 

According to Sgt Cota, “A suspect in a white Toyota Prius shot out the window of a Subaru during a road rage incident. Officers located the suspect vehicle in the area of Cliff Drive and Acacia Drive and conducted a high-risk vehicle stop.”

 All three victims inside the Subaru identified the suspect during an infield show up. 

Sgt Cota said, “The suspect admitted to shooting a BB gun at the Subaru. Officers searched the Toyota and located a replica Glock BB gun.”

The victims from Truckee in Northern California were uninjured. 

Sgt Cota said, “The suspect, identified as Huntington Beach resident Leonardo Temani Morales, 19, was arrested for [alleged] assault with a deadly weapon, negligent discharge of a firearm, shooting at an occupied vehicle, vandalism, and exhibiting a firearm.”

No bail was set.

Transient arrested after allegedly kicking a man when he refused to give him money

On Thursday, Sept 12, at 10:34 a.m., LBPD officers responded to the 200 block of Ocean Ave for an alleged assault that had just occurred. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “The suspect was identified as Ryan Lapierre, a homeless subject from LA County.”

Lapierre was allegedly asking for money in the downtown area.

Sgt Cota said, “When the victim declined to give Lapierre money, Lapierre [allegedly] kicked the victim.

 “A record check revealed Lapierre also had two outstanding warrants from LA County for assault,” Sgt Cota said.

Ryan Lee Lapierre was arrested for alleged battery and booked at the Laguna Beach Jail.

Bail was set at $500.

Editor’s Note: An arrest contains allegations that a suspect has committed a crime. Every suspect is presumed to be innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.

-By Suzie Harrison

Shaena Stabler is the Owner, Publisher & Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor & Writer.

Michael Sterling is our Webmaster & Designer.

Mary Hurlbut is our Chief Photographer.

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

Stacia Stabler is our Social Media Manager & Writer.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: for questions about advertising


Email: with news releases, letters, etc.


© 2020 Stu News Laguna - All Rights Reserved.