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Police Files

Trolley driver attacked, suspect allegedly spits on officers

On Saturday, Feb 2, at 1:48 p.m., LBPD officers responded to 3rd Ave and S Coast Hwy for a battery that had allegedly just occurred involving a city trolley driver. 

According to police records, “The driver was slapped. The suspect left on foot southbound on the ocean side.”

 The suspect was described as having a black moustache and beard, and wearing a black hoodie pulled over his face and black pants. 

The report continued, “Be advised, the subject is a ‘spitter.’” 

Officers searched the area but did not locate the suspect initially. The suspect, Michael Granados, was later located in the Gelson’s Shopping Center at Monarch Bay Plaza. 

“While Granados was being detained, he kicked an officer in the lower leg. As Granados was being handcuffed, he postured as if he was going to spit on the officer but was unable to because the hood of his sweatshirt blocked him from doing so,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “As Granados was being seat belted in a police vehicle, he turned and spit on another officer.”

Granados was brought to the station, but he remained uncooperative according to Sgt Cota, and was taken directly to OC Jail. 

“He was transferred from a police unit to a jail van but he was able to spit again, which struck a jail supervisor on the forearm,” Sgt Cota said. 

According to LBPD arrest records, Michael Hector Granados, 34, Yorba Linda, was arrested for assault on a peace officer, battery, resisting an executive officer, resisting arrest, and a violation of probation 

No bail was set.


Police Files

Woman injured after being run over by her car

On Tuesday, Jan 29, at 12:45 p.m., LBPD and LBFD responded to the alley behind 730 N Coast Hwy for a report of an injury collision. 

“It was reported that the 50-year-old female got out of and was then run over by her vehicle,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “She was transported to Mission Hospital – Mission Viejo for abrasions and bruises.” 

LBFD Division Chief Api Weinert said, “Our Engine 1 responded to a report of medical aid. They made contact with the victim lying on the ground. She was apparently the driver of a vehicle and had gotten out of the vehicle. When she got out, she noticed the vehicle was rolling backwards. She attempted to get back in the vehicle but was unable to get back in. She sustained injuries due to getting caught between the vehicle and a wall.”

Chief Weinert added that this was a freak accident that could have happened to anybody.

“I’ve been trying to run to work every day, and the other day while I was running, I stumbled and fell on top of myself,” he said. “These types of accidents and weird things happen.”

Residents try to intervene as tree gets chopped down 

On Friday, Jan 25, at 11:08 a.m., at Eagle Rock Way and Virginia Way, LBPD received a report of someone “trying to stop the cutting down of a historic tree.” The police logs describe a “male with a chainsaw – unknown what company he is with. Four residents from the area are trying to stop him. RP is no longer on scene. Five work trucks.”

According to Cassie Walder, City Community Information Officer, the tree was ultimately removed on Wednesday, Jan 30, due to poor health.

 “The tree had been declining for some time and it was likely due to [the] combination of the drought stress, extreme compaction of the soil around the root zone, repeated topping of the canopy by SDG&E to keep it out of electric wires and potentially some root disturbance due to maintenance of adjacent pavement, mailbox, pole and retaining wall,” said Shohreh Dupuis, Assistant City Manager/Director of Public Works.

The tree was a Red Flowering Eucalyptus.

Emergency call centers to accept 9-1-1 text messages starting Feb 6

All Orange County first responder dispatch centers will begin accepting texts to 9-1-1 on February 6.

Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to reach 9-1-1 emergency call takers from your mobile phone or device. This service is aimed to assist people who are hearing impaired, or speech disabled, or someone who is in an emergency situation where calling 9-1-1 is not possible. Always contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call if you can.

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


Police Files (Cont.)

LBPD canine cop sniffs out 19 grams of heroin

On Sunday, Jan 27, at 3:22 p.m., an LBPD officer initiated a vehicle enforcement stop in the area of Cardinal Dr and S Coast Hwy. The driver was identified as Orange resident Athanasios Anagnostos, 47. 

Police Files AnagnostosA records check revealed he had an outstanding warrant. He was subsequently taken into custody. 

“During the contact, drug paraphernalia was observed. K-9 “Ranger” was utilized to search the vehicle and 19 grams of heroin was located,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “Anagnostos was charged with narcotic sales, transporting, and possession.”

According to multiple web sources, the average cost of heroin is $15-20 for a single dose (0.1g). 19 grams would be valued at between $2,850 and $3,800.

Bail was set at $55,100.

Reports of man smoking meth and pointing a rifle toward the hillside result in non-arrest

On Tuesday, Jan 29, at 4:07 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to the 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. The call was in reference to a male allegedly inside a vehicle pointing a rifle toward the hillside. 

Detectives requested drone response. The drone and detectives surveilled the occupied vehicle.

“The male was observed possibly smoking methamphetamine. He noticed the drone, flipped it off, and drove away from the area towards El Toro Road. Officers stopped the vehicle near Greenfield Drive in Laguna Niguel,” Sgt Cota said. 

“The driver was identified as a former parolee. A DUI drug investigation was conducted and it was determined the suspect was not under the influence. The vehicle was searched and no guns were located. A report was taken.”

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


Police Files

Reunited and it feels so good – turtle finds its way back home

Last week in Animal Files, Stu News reported that a turtle had been found by Animal Services and was being cared for with the hope that its owner would read about it and find their wayward pet.

Good news…the turtle was reunited with its owner on Saturday, Jan 26, eight days after the turtle’s traveling trek began, after reading our story.

Police Files Turtle

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of LBPD

Lost and found, this turtle was reunited with his family thanks to Stu News article

 To reiterate the turtle trials, LBPD received a report on Monday, Jan 21 about a large turtle found on Friday, Jan 18, at 31600 Scenic Dr. 

According to Jim Beres, LBPD Civilian Services Administrator, “The turtle was found by an Animal Services Officer in the area of Monterey and Brooks Street. It is a red slider wood turtle.” 

Now the turtle is reported to be safe and sound with its family.

Driver arrested for meth placed at fault in 3-car collision

On Saturday, Jan 26, at 2:38 p.m., LBPD officers responded with LBFD to a traffic collision at Mountain Rd and S Coast Hwy. They arrived to the scene and found three vehicles involved but no injuries reported. 

“The vehicles were blocking the roadway and had to be towed from the scene. One of the parties, David Gilmore, was found to have methamphetamine, a narcotic pipe, and ultimately charged with driving while being addicted,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “He was also the party placed at fault.”

David Alan Gilmore, 30, of Santa Ana, was arrested on suspicion of DUI, possession of methamphetamine, and possession of unlawful paraphernalia.

Bail was set at $3,500.

Lyft driver reported to be “out of his mind” seems ok to LBPD

On Saturday, Jan 26, at 9:36 p.m., at S Coast Hwy and Vista del Sol, a woman called dispatchers to report that her Lyft driver was “out of his mind.” According to LBPD records, dispatchers could hear the driver yelling at the female to get out of the car. An officer responded to find the RP had left. 

“The driver advised that the female RP had keyed his car before she fled. The Lyft driver appeared to be acting normally,” said Sgt Cota. “The officers contacted the female by phone and she refused to return to the scene.”

 A vandalism report was taken and additional follow up will be needed by detectives.

More reports of meth on the streets of Laguna

On Thursday, Jan 24, at 12:33 pm, LBPD officers responded to a possible robbery that had just occurred in the area of Thalia St and S Coast Hwy. The alleged victim said that his friend hit him with a skateboard and took his wallet, which contained $100. They reportedly used to be friends. 

Once on scene, officers were able to gather a bit more information and learned the direction of travel and where the suspect likes to hang out. The suspect was located in the 100 block of Brooks St. The suspect was described to be a white male in his 20s wearing a grey sweatshirt and skinny grey shorts.

“After a lengthy investigation and some independent witness statements, it appears like the victim may have tried to get the suspect to do meth with him. The suspect grabbed the meth, put it into his coffee which destroyed it,” Sgt Cota said. “The victim appears to have become upset and possibly made a false report to get back at the suspect. A report was taken and the investigation is ongoing.”


Police Files (Cont.)

Elderly resident victimized in the bread aisle at Gelson’s

On Sunday, Jan 20, at 2:06 p.m., an elderly resident came to the LBPD station to report that her wallet was stolen while shopping at Gelson’s, at the 30900 block of S Coast Hwy. 

“She was approached by a male in the bread aisle. The male distracted her and asked her random questions about different bread types while another person removed her wallet from her purse. The victim’s credit cards were used at unknown locations,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said.

The victim is working with LBPD and will provide banking statements with further information. Her credit cards had already been used twice by the suspect by the time she reported the crime. The loss was estimated to be around $6,000.

Red slider wood turtle found on the lam

On Monday, Jan 21, at 12:09 p.m., LBPD received a report about a large turtle found on Friday, Jan 18, at 31600 Scenic Drive.

According to Jim Beres, LBPD Civilian Services Administrator, “The turtle was found by an Animal Services Officer in the area of Monterey and Brooks Street. It is a red slider wood turtle. The turtle is at the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter. The owner is unknown.”

Police Files Turtle

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of LBPD

Lost turtle is looking for his family

If you or anyone you know recognizes this trooper of a turtle, call Laguna Beach Animal Shelter at (949) 497-3552 or go to 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd.

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


Police Files

No thanks, the lawn has already been watered

On Thursday, Jan 17, at 7:46 a.m., LBPD received a report about a suspicious vehicle, a retro burgundy VW bus, parked on Chico Arroyo. According to police records the reporting person said, “An old VW bus pulled up to the area. A male jumped out of the vehicle and urinated on [my] lawn, and smoked a cigarette.” 

The suspicious person was described as a male with a baseball cap and a hoodie pulled over his head. The odd occurrence lasted for about 30 minutes and then he reportedly went back in the bus.

The reporting person had to leave to take their children to school but wanted LBPD to check out the situation. LBPD went to the location, however, no one was in the bus and the suspect could not be found. Interestingly, the retro ride had a vanity plate.

Trees cause havoc after the heavy rains

Trees have been blowing into police reports since the heavy rains hit. Last week two more incidents were reported to LBPD. On Wednesday, Jan 16 at 8 p.m., at the 2400 block of Juanita Way, LBPD received a report in reference to two trees that had fallen in the street. 

The reporting person alerted LBPD after she heard the information from her neighbor. She did not see it herself, so the information was considered secondhand.

According to police records, “Two trees down in the street, one a large tree approximately 20 feet tall.” LBPD contacted Public Works who removed the trees clearing the roadway. A couple hours later the street was open.

Also on Friday, at 8:59 a.m. at the 600 block of Mystic View, LBPD received a report in reference to a tree “that fell on the uphill side, unrooted and partially blocking the street.” 

According to police records, the tree was blocking the street and the RP said he had to “drive through the tree.” Public Works went to the scene and said there was no road obstruction. The tree, which was noted to be a private tree, had been cut up and put on the side of the slope.

Animal Files

When Mother Nature calls, animals listen

On Wednesday, Jan 16, LBPD received a few “animal calls.” It seems that when Mother Nature howls, animals listen. At 10:18 a.m., at the 31100 block of S Coast Hwy, LBPD received a report regarding hummingbirds overstaying their welcome. According to police records, two hummingbirds were in the RP’s dining room. “They have been there for two hours,” reads the report. “The RP is requesting we help remove them.”

Barely two hours later, at the 31700 block of 5th Avenue, LBPD received a report of a rare sighting at the beach. According to police records, “A deer is on the beach. The deer is approximately 100 feet north of the creek. It doesn’t seem to be in distress.”

According to the report, the caller was just giving LBPD a heads up. “The RP just wanted us to be aware,” the report states.


Police Files

Black market marijuana farm discovered in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, open space damaged

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and Orange County Parks just completed a massive cleanup of a black market marijuana grow discovered late last year at Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, according to a release issued by CDFW.

The black market marijuana grow was discovered on September 27, 2018 by CDFW during routine flights over Orange County with the National Guard’s Counter Drug Unit. Following the discovery, Newport Beach Police Department conducted an eradication mission at the site. Attempts to apprehend the suspects were unsuccessful.

According to CDFW, officers eradicated 500 plants and confiscated 75 pounds of processed marijuana. The grow, when in full production, contained almost 1,500 plants. During the eradication, CDFW documented numerous environmental violations including streambed alterations, haphazard pesticides left on the property, trash within 150 feet of a waterway, and a poached deer.

 According to Laguna Canyon Foundation Executive Director Hallie Jones, the grow area was well-hidden in a remote part of the 7,000 acre park, and caused significant habitat damage to our endangered coastal sage scrub habitat.

“Growers remove native plants and cause additional damage by creating trails and using chemicals on the marijuana plants. This grow site will require extensive repair and mitigation to restore the destroyed habitat,” said Jones in a statement to Stu News on Thursday.

“Passive restoration, in which we remove the problem and let the plants re-establish themselves, will take years. The rains this winter will help, and within a few years we should be hard-pressed to identify exact sites,” Jones continued.

The team cleanup effort was conducted in two phases, in December and January, and included the removal of approximately 3,120 pounds of trash, 1,500 feet of plastic irrigation piping, 24 ounces of pesticides as well as other forms of garbage that can be detrimental to the environment.

Police Files black market Marijuana

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of CDFW website

CA Department of Fish and Wildlife and OC Parks worked together to clean up Laguna Coast Wilderness Park after an illegal marijuana grow was discovered

For the cleanup, OC Parks worked with a specialized hazmat contractor, Clean Harbors, to ensure the pesticide was removed and disposed of correctly. Through testing, the pesticide was confirmed to be carbofuran, a highly toxic and banned substance. To understand the toxicity, just a teaspoon can kill a 300-pound black bear.

“Protecting California’s natural resources takes commitment from federal, state, county and city entities. I commend all those that were involved in this effort to identify the black market grow, eradicate it and clean it up,” said David Bess, Deputy Director and Chief of the CDFW Law Enforcement Division. “Working together, we can protect the environment and help the permitted cannabis market thrive.”

Between 2013 and 2018, CDFW has removed more than 2.4 million feet of irrigation pipe, 50 tons of fertilizer and 65 gallons of chemicals, many illegal in the U.S., on black market grows. CDFW has also removed 709 dams and water diversions resulting in restoration of 800 million gallons of water back into local watersheds.

CDFW would like to remind the public to report environmental crimes such as water pollution, water diversions and poaching to the CalTIP hotline by calling (888) 334-2258 or by texting “CALTIP” followed by a space and whatever the desired message, to 847411 (tip411).

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


Police Files (Cont.)

Car slams into pole in slick Canyon, resulting in live wires down

On Wednesday, Jan 16 at 10:10 a.m., at Phillips Rd and Laguna Canyon Rd, a female driver crashed into an Edison pole, resulting in downed live wires and the closure of Laguna Canyon Rd in both directions for hours.

Police Files wires down crash

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of LBPD

Single-car accident downs Edison pole in wet weather Wednesday

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “the female driver stated she slid off the roadway due to the wet surface. Although not raining at the time, the roads were wet.”

Thankfully, according to Sgt Cota, she was able to exit her car safely and no major injuries were reported.

Laguna Canyon Rd was closed for approximately two hours while Edison repaired the pole and wires.

Wild Alta Laguna chase ends in Taser

On Sunday, Jan 13, at 5:47 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched following a report of a male driving a white pickup recklessly with no headlights on near Alta Laguna Park.

Police Files Newton“An officer arrived on scene first and observed the pickup driving in circles in the Alta Laguna parking lot. The officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the suspect failed to yield. Another officer arrived on scene as the suspect drove out of the parking lot and onto Alta Laguna Blvd,” Sgt Cota said.

According to Sgt Cota, officers initiated a pursuit and followed the vehicle at speeds of 35 mph across Alta Laguna Blvd to Mountain View, back to Alta Laguna and back into the Alta Laguna parking lot.

“Officers blocked the exits and the suspect continued to drive over the planters and drove in circles around the parking lot before pulling into a parking space and attempting to flee on foot,” Sgt Cota said. “Officers gave chase and were able to take him into custody safely utilizing a Taser.”

Huntington Beach resident, Gregg Antonio Newton, 30, was arrested for violation of failure to yield and resisting arrest.

He was booked and transported to OC Jail. 

Bail was set at $500.

Laguna artist’s car broken into, art supplies stolen

Laguna Beach artist Paulette Adams reports that her vehicle was broken into and her art supplies stolen on the evening of Saturday, Jan 12, at the 700 block of High Dr. Adams discovered her car window bashed in the next morning, Jan 13.

Police Files Artist Royal Crown

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of Paulette Adams

Local artists seeks help getting her art supplies back after a smash and grab of her car last Saturday

 “Someone bashed in the passenger side window of my car and stole art supplies, including two Crown Royal bags with handmade seashell molds that I’d really like to get back,” Adams said.

Also stolen was a large turquoise and brown paisley print quilted turquoise satchel with glazes and a brown newsprint design carry on.

Police Files Artist car broken into

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of Paulette Adams

Adams’ latest ceramic creation using her seashell molds

Adams is seeking the public’s help. 

“If you see them along the side of the road or in the alley, please let me know,” Adams posted on Nextdoor. 

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


Police Files

Brawl with a bus? Man punches and breaks bus window for no apparent reason

On Wednesday, Jan 9, at 12:50 p.m., at the 300 block of Broadway Street, an LBPD officer was flagged down at the Bus Depot by an OCTA bus driver in regards to a male subject who had allegedly just punched and broken the window of his bus.

Police Files Perez“Officers contacted homeless subject Elvis Perez, who is on formal parole for battery. A private person arrest was requested by the OCTA bus driver and Perez was arrested for violating the terms of his parole. He was transported to LBPD for booking and transported to OC Jail,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said.

Elvis Perez, 54, Laguna Beach, was arrested for vandalism and violating parole.

No bail was set.

Laguna man alleges late night abuse at Brooks Street, pepper sprays suspect

On Saturday, Jan 12, at 12:41 a.m., LBPD officers responded to Brooks Street and S Coast Highway for a report of a battery that had allegedly just occurred. 

“The RP/victim, 57, said the suspect, 46, punched him in the jaw and shoulder and threatened him if he saw him again,” Sgt Cota said.

 According to police records, the suspect reportedly said he would kill the RP and threatened that “he knows where he lives.”

“The suspect took off after the altercation, but before he fled, the victim pepper sprayed the suspect. The two have a past history in which one of their altercations led to charges being filled,” Sgt Cota said.

Charges were filed in a previous incident in April 2018.

The suspect was located a short distance from the altercation and detained. After the investigation, the victim decided not to press charges. A report was taken to document the incident.

Stolen vehicle lands three El Monte men in jail

On Saturday, Jan 12, at 1:37 a.m., an LBPD dispatcher advised officers of a stolen vehicle inbound on Laguna Canyon Road. Officers saw the white 2017 Honda Accord at 650 Laguna Canyon Road, at which point the vehicle made a U-turn at the light and headed back out the canyon. 

A traffic stop was initiated and the vehicle yielded just prior to Canyon Acres.

“Three occupants were detained. The driver, Geovany Martinez, was arrested for possession of a stolen vehicle. The front seat passenger, Enrique Llamas, was arrested for an outstanding warrant. The rear seat passenger, Sergio Vera, was arrested for possession of narcotic paraphernalia. Llamas also had what appeared to be stolen mail and checks,” Sgt Cota said.

Police Files Mugs

Photos courtesy of LBPD

Geovany Martinez, Enrique Llamas, and Sergio Vera

Geovany Daniel Martinez, 26, El Monte, was arrested for felony vehicle theft. Sergio Arturo Vera, 24, El Monte, was arrested for being in possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, and Enrique Llamas, 25, El Monte, was arrested on an undisclosed warrant.

“Additional investigation from detectives is needed,” Sgt Cota said. 

Bail was set at $20,000 for Martinez, $30,000 for Llamas, and $500 for Vera.

Timber, driver hits fallen tree blocking S Coast Hwy

On Saturday, Jan 12, at 4:31 a.m., LBPD received a call in reference to a non-injury traffic collision involving a blue Mini Cooper that hit a tree in the road at the 30600 block of S Coast Hwy. According to police reports, “The RP hit a tree and his windshield is messed up.”

 According to police notes, the tree was blocking lanes and already in the road when the reporting person unexpectedly ran into it.

“Calling for tree removal. The tree is blocking lanes #1 and #2 both northbound and southbound and the sidewalk.”

Caltrans was notified and the tree was removed.


Police Files

Zzzzzzz, drunk man crashes in stranger’s bed

On Tuesday, Jan 1, at 9:44 p.m., LBPD officers responded to a residence on Lower Cliff Drive for a report of an unknown male subject inside the reporting person’s apartment, asleep in his bed. 

LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said, “Officers arrived and contacted the subject, identified as Christopher Crabtree. An investigation was conducted and Crabtree told officers he was currently in Los Angeles at his friend’s apartment.”

 According to Sgt Cota, the reporting person told officers he just wanted Crabtree out of his residence.

“Crabtree was displaying signs of alcohol intoxication and based on his inability to understand the current situation he was arrested for public intoxication,” Sgt Cota said.

Bail was set at $500.

Welcome mat revoked after “friends” enter house, refuse to leave

On Sunday, Jan 6, at 8:55 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to a keep the peace call on Catalina Street. Officers were informed that two men had come into the reporting person’s residence without permission and were refusing to leave. 

“Officers arrived on scene and located [two suspects] inside of the house. Prior to the officer’s arrival, the other subject had left the property, but [Olando] Edie stayed to confront officers,” Sgt Cota said.

The reporting person wanted to press charges against anyone still inside of the residence. 

“Officers contacted Edie, but he still refused to leave and was arrested for violation of trespassing,” Sgt Cota said.

According to police reports, the two subjects were friends of the reporting person’s father, who was out of town. The reporting person called his dad and his dad said they weren’t supposed to be there. “He said he was invited over five years ago, not now.”

Olando Dave Edie, 35, Midway City, was arrested for trespassing.

According to LBPD, both suspects apprehended have a history with LBPD.

“The officers were very familiar with both. They have come and gone throughout the years,” Sgt Cota said.

Bail was set at $500.

Man arraigned by OCDA for criminal threats against Laguna customer will face pretrial hearing Feb 4

Mitchell Ralph Todd, 51, of Huntington Beach, pled not guilty during an arraignment on Friday, Dec 28, to charges that he made criminal threats against a Laguna Beach man, his client, in November. 

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, at the time of the alleged crimes, Todd was the owner of OC Doves and was hired by the victim to release doves at his son’s funeral. Based upon an alleged dispute on the day of the funeral involving scheduling and payment, Todd did not render his services nor was he paid. 

On Monday, Nov 10, Todd is accused of requesting payment from the victim. The next day, he is accused of leaving the victim a series of threatening text messages and voicemails and further demanding payment.

According to Sgt Cota, Todd first threatened with court proceedings, but quickly appeared to become upset and further threatened to have specific people come to his work and to his relatives’ home until he was paid.

In the last voicemail left for the victim, Todd is accused of recording the sound of a handgun slide being pulled back and released as if chambering a round.

During a search of Todd’s house, LBPD, who investigated this case, located 57 firearms, nearly 30,000 rounds of ammunition, over 100 magazines, a practice bomb, several body armors, swords, and Nazi paraphernalia.

Todd’s pre-trial hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb 4 at the Harbor Justice Center.

Todd is charged with one felony count of criminal threats. The maximum sentence he faces is three years in state prison.

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