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Police Files

Drunk male on beach arrested after allegedly harassing beachgoers

On Sunday, Oct 14, at 4:15 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to the 600 block of Sleepy Hollow Lane, at Sleepy Hollow Beach, for an intoxicated male on the beach allegedly harassing other beachgoers. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “Officers contacted Kyle Blaker and could smell the heavy odor of alcohol on his breath and person. Blaker was obviously intoxicated. He was ultimately arrested for drunk in public and being resistive to the arrest. He was also charged with resisting arrest.”

Kyle James Blaker, 33, of Hawaii, was arrested for felony parole violation, disorderly conduct related to alcohol, and resisting arrest.

“Blaker was a challenge to get back to the police vehicles because he was unstable on his feet due to his intoxication level,” Sgt Cota said. “Officers also learned that Blaker was on parole so the charge of a parole violation was added.

No bail was set.

Repeat offender James Leis arrested at Main Beach by LBPD

According to Sgt Cota, on Tuesday, Oct 16, 9:47 a.m., “LBPD officers recognized local Laguna Beach transient James Leis, 29, who was hanging out on the cobblestones at Main Beach at the 100 block of N Coast Hwy. They also had knowledge he had a warrant for his arrest.”

Leis was contacted and taken into custody for a $10,000 drug related warrant.

According to Stu News Laguna records, Leis has been arrested 7 times by LBPD since May 1, 2018.

City’s local campaign sign placement regulations explained 

City Community Information Officer Cassie Walder explained there is a daily effort by the City’s Code Enforcement Division to monitor public property in the City and remove campaign signs that are placed on public property. 

Public property includes parks, medians, and the public right of way. Campaign signs posted on private property are allowed with the permission of the property owner. The theft or destruction of campaign signs is a crime and will be prosecuted. 

“If you see signs placed in violation of the Municipal Code, please call the City’s Code Enforcement Division at (949) 497-0301, and it will investigate promptly,” Walder said. “Please do not attempt to rectify the situation yourself. Thank you for your cooperation.”

LBPD Sgt Jim Cota completes 8-month SLI program, sharpens leadership skills

Congratulations are in order for LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, who completed the Sherman Block Supervisor Leadership Institute (SLI) program this week. 

Over the last eight months, Sgt Cota learned about the various qualities that encompass a strong leader. He was tasked with reading numerous books and completed countless assignments in order to sharpen his leadership qualities.

Police Files Cota graduates

Click on photo for a larger image 

Submitted photo

Pictured with facilitator Dave Smith, LBPD Sgt Jim Cota finishes SLI program

SLI is an intensive leadership development program that is designed to stimulate personal growth, leadership, and ethical decision-making for California law enforcement front line supervisors. LBPD lauds Sgt Cota for his ongoing efforts to bring excellence in every area to the community.

Pizza with a Cop: share pizza and conversation with LBPD, our amazing best in blue, on Oct 25

Join LBPD on Thursday, Oct 25, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., for LBPD’s first Pizza with a Cop event at zpizza, at 30822 Coast Hwy.

 “Residents can stop by and receive a free slice or two of pizza and chat with police officers about any community concerns they may have. Pizza with a Cop is modeled after Coffee with a Cop,” said Community Services Officer Nikie Hernandez, City of Laguna Beach. “There are no agendas or speeches, just a chance to have pizza and conversation with the officers who keep our community safe. Come out and have a slice on us.”

Police Files

Wet roads, car severs power pole causing three-car injury collision in the Canyon

On Friday, Oct 12, at 10:15 p.m., LBPD officers and LBFD were dispatched to a rollover traffic collision on Laguna Canyon Road and SR 73 south, involving three vehicles and resulting in injuries.

“A Mitsubishi Lancer occupied with three males was traveling south on Laguna Canyon Road. The roadway was wet and the vehicle lost control and struck an Edison support pole. The pole was severed and landed across the roadway. The Mitsubishi rolled over and came to rest on its roof. The driver sustained a head injury and was transported to Mission Hospital Mission Viejo,” said LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock.

 An Audi Q5 occupied with four females was traveling behind the Mitsubishi and struck the downed pole. The Audi sustained front end damage. All four passengers were uninjured. 

Causing a chain reaction, a Nissan 300ZX occupied with one male was traveling behind the Audi and also struck the pole. The driver of the Nissan complained of neck and back pain and was transported to Mission Hospital Mission Viejo. 

Laguna Canyon Road was closed between El Toro Road and SR 73 in both directions for approximately two hours. A Nixle Alert and Sigalert were issued. Edison responded and de-energized the electrical lines which caused power to be lost in the Club Laguna area for approximately four hours.

Suspected DUI crash causes bodily injury, sends victims to the hospital

On Saturday, Oct 13, at 3:17 p.m., LBPD and LBFD personnel responded to 1400 N Coast Highway for an injury traffic collision involving a black Jeep hitting a silver VW, allegedly while intoxicated, causing bodily injury.

“Upon the officer’s arrival, it was determined Wyatt Hume was driving while under the influence,” said LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock. “Hume was arrested for DUI and a traffic collision report was taken. Two occupants were transported to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach with complaints of pain.” 

Wyatt Edmond Hume, 25, of Laguna Niguel, was arrested on suspicion of DUI with bodily injury and driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.

Bail was set at $100,000.

Man allegedly gestures toward exposed privates

On Wednesday, Oct 10, at 5:42 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to Ocean Avenue, near Laguna Drug, in reference to a male subject allegedly exposing himself to passersby.

“The male was identified as Brian O’Connor, a local transient,” LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock said. “O’Connor [allegedly] approached two separate occupied vehicles and made hand motions towards his exposed penis.”

 Brian Keith Michael O’Connor, 56, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for indecent exposure and transported to OCJ.

Bail was set at $500.

Locals beware: reports of identity theft, stolen mail and credit cards 

On Saturday, Oct 13, at 2:39 a.m., LBPD conducted a traffic stop in the 900 block of Laguna Canyon Road on a 2007 BMW. During the stop numerous washed checks, identification belonging to others, and what appeared to be a large quantity of stolen mail from Riverside were found. The driver and passenger, Theresa Grace Delgado, 23, of Victorville, and Charles M. Finneran, 31, of San Bernardino, were arrested for identity theft. 

Bail was set at $500 each.

On Wednesday, Oct 3, LBPD officers conducted a traffic stop on Coast Highway near Cleo Street, at 11:12 p.m. The vehicle was occupied by six subjects. 

During the course of the investigation, officers located 40 fraudulent credit cards.

“Two of the subjects were arrested and the vehicle, which was a rental possibly rented with a fraudulent card, was impounded,” LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock said. “Detectives were notified and additional follow up will be needed. Both suspects were released until additional investigation is completed.”

Police Files

Motorcyclist crashes into Prius while evading LBPD

On Monday, Oct 8, at 7:18 a.m., an LBPD officer was driving inbound on Laguna Canyon Road from the Toll Road (73) in heavy traffic when a motorcycle passed him on the left and to the left of the double yellow lane lines. 

Police Files Charles Laitipaya“The officer activated his emergency lights and pulled behind the motorcycle. The motorcyclist looked over his shoulder but failed to yield,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “The officer activated his siren but the motorcyclist continued to drive past the stopped traffic.”

 “When he reached the intersection of El Toro he turned completely on his seat looked directly at the officer and pulled into the bike lane and started to accelerate,” continued Sgt Cota. 

“The motorcyclist failed to see the Toyota Prius driving in front of him at a much slower speed and rear ended it,” Sgt Cota said. “The force of the collision caused him to land on the roadway.”

 Additional LBPD officers arrived as well LBFD. The motorcyclist was treated at the scene. According to police reports, he complained that his neck hurt after the spill.

Charles Chayachok Laitipaya, 23, of Riverside, was taken into custody for evading a police officer and reckless driving. He was booked and later released. 

Bail was set at $1,000.

National Walk to School Day was a hit with students, LBPD and the community

Laguna Beach students walked to school with parents, friends, LBUDS teachers, staffers, and LBPD officers during National Walk to School Day on Wednesday, Oct 3.

LBPD posted several Instagram pictures walking with students, some carrying “Walk to School” signs. Led by LBPD School Resource Officer Cpl Cornelius Ashton, our students and officers were all smiles. He was proudly sporting a badge of his own, a “Walk to School Award,” button.

Police Files National Walk to School Day

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of LBPD

Students hit the streets with parents, friends, LBPD officers and LBUSD teachers and staff for National Walk to School Day

Sgt Jim Cota, said, “Congratulations to Cpl Ashton School Resource Officer. Everyone had a blast. Our officers will do anything for the kids.”

According to Orange County Health Care Agency, “Thousands of children, families, and communities as they celebrate Walk to School Day around the world. Every year, on the first Wednesday of October, over 30 countries hold Walk to School Day events.”

Reportedly over 50 OC Schools participated in National Walk to School day. Keep it going!

Local students were treated with LBPD’s ‘Cookies with a Cop’ event at LBHS

Besides National Walk to School Day, on Wednesday, Oct 3, LBHS students got a sweet treat from LBPD at the “Cookies with a Cop” event at LBHS. LBPD officers provided cookies and conversations with students and faculty. 

Police Files Cookies with a Cop

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD Officers treated LBHS students and faculty to cookies and conversations

LB Animal Shelter needs donated newspapers for animal care

LBPD posted on Facebook that the Laguna Beach Animal Shelter is in need of donated newspapers for the animals. If you’d like to help, please drop off any unwanted newspapers between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the animal shelter located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Road. 

The animal shelter is open seven days a week. For information, call (949) 497-3552 or visit

Police Files

Man beaten bloody at bus stop reportedly for no apparent reason

On Wednesday, Oct 3, at 9:25 p.m., at Cleo Street and South Coast Highway, LBPD officers were dispatched for an assault that had reportedly just occurred involving a man hitting another man. A description of the suspect was given and dispatch advised the suspect had gone into the underground parking lot at a local hotel. He was described as a white male with light hair, a medium build, with tattoos on his arms, and wearing a light color short sleeve shirt.

 According to LBPD police logs, the victim said that he didn’t know the suspect or why he hit him. A witness corroborated and said, “The attack was completely unprovoked.”

“The victim had a bloody face and mouth but was declining medical attention,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. “Officers conducted a search and investigation and were able to locate the suspect in a room at the hotel.”

 The victim was desirous of prosecution and Nicholas Tyler Lilley, 27, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for battery. The victim is a resident of Santa Ana. 

“Yes, the attack was unprovoked and occurred at a bus bench,” Sgt Cota added.

Bail was set at $500.

Man allegedly moons another, pulls apart plants, and then commits arson at the library 

On Friday, Oct 5 at 1:49 a.m., at the 300 block of Glenneyre Street, LBPD officers responded to the City Library in reference to a man allegedly exposing himself by mooning the reporting party. After that, the suspect reportedly went into the garden area outside the library and started pulling apart plants.

“Upon the officers’ arrival, Brian O’Connor lit a bundle of newspapers on fire in front of the Library,” Sgt Cota said. “O’Connor had a second bundle of newspapers near him and attempted to throw the second bindle on the fully engulfed fire before the officer intervened.”

Brian Keith Michael O’Connor, 56, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for arson.

O’Conner is homeless and claims an address of the ASL,” Sgt Cota added.

Thalia Street squatter takes over home for months, busted two days before birthday

Police Files Robert OxierOn Saturday, Oct 6 at 1:25 p.m., LBPD officers responded to the 100 block of Thalia Street for a squatter inside a vacant residence. The trespasser was reported by a real estate agent, who had video of the intruder and contacted the homeowner.

“The homeowner came home to the property and found the homeless suspect living inside the residence,” Sgt Cota said. “The suspect had all his personal property and food inside the residence, stating he had been living there the past four months.”

The homeowner was desirous of prosecution and signed a private person arrest form. Robert Oxier, 36, with no known residence, was placed under arrest for trespassing and later released.

Bail was set at $500.

Second domestic battery charge for Laguna Beach man in two weeks

Police Files Damon RobertsOn Wednesday, Oct 3 at 7:39 p.m., at the 3000 block of Dorn Court, LBPD officers responded to a residence in reference to a domestic violence investigation. At the time of the call, the reporting party said they were now in separate rooms. She was in the bedroom and he was in the kitchen. 

Damon Harold Roberts, 59, of Laguna Beach, was taken into custody for misdemeanor domestic battery. According to Sgt Cota, Roberts allegedly pushed the 71-year-old alleged victim and poked her in the face.

“He was arrested for similar circumstances approximately two weeks ago,” Sgt Cota said. “An Emergency Protective Order was obtained, and Adult Protective Services was notified.”

Bail was set at $1,000.

Police Files

Suspicious man seen peeking through bushes at TOW

On Tuesday, Oct 2, at 8:12 a.m., LBPD officers responded to reports of a suspicious subject on Alta Laguna Blvd, who was frightening the local residents with his bizarre behavior.

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “We contacted a male subject, who resides on Mountain View. He appeared to be coming down from drug use and he was advised against questionable hand gestures, imitating a handgun, toward the TOW school and other bizarre behavior. We received other calls of a similar nature a short time later.” 

According to the LBPD log, the suspicious person was seen roaming the perimeter of the school at 1:58 p.m. peeking through the bushes at TOW. The suspect was described as a bald male with a mohawk wearing a football sports jersey. He was warned not to come onto the grounds of the school’s campus or he would be arrested.

Sgt Cota said, “SRO Cornelius Ashton will be following up with this subject on this matter. Detectives are aware of the subject, and he will be watched very closely.”

Amorous imbiber hits on women at Pavilions

On Tuesday, Oct 2, at 4:42 p.m., at the 600 block of N Coast Hwy, LBPD officers responded to a male subject smelling of alcohol standing at the entrance of Pavilions refusing to leave. 

“He kissed a random customer on the cheek and was asking employees on dates,” according to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota. “Officers got a taxi cab for the subject who lives in town. No one was desirous of prosecution.” 

According to police records, the subject was described as a thin, white male approximately 20 years old, wearing white and driving a white Range Rover. Because of his condition, a taxi was requested to drive the subject to his home in the Temple Hills area.

LBPD Chief Farinella clarifies legality of sleeping on beaches

In response to a Stu News inquiry, noting an apparent increase in LBPD records of individuals reportedly camping on the beach at night, particularly around Main Beach and Crystal Cove, LBPD Chief Laura Farinella clarifies the ordinance in Laguna Beach.

The Laguna Beach Ordinance states that both beaches and parks are closed from 1 to 5 a.m. This is usually why officers are called to the beach, for individuals sleeping on the beach during these times," Chief Farinella said. “Mere sleeping on the beach is not a violation of the law. Also, the reason you see no arrests is because officers do their best to gain compliance by having them leave and making recommendations where they can legally sleep.”

LBMC 8.05.010 Closing times ordinance reads, “Except as otherwise provided in this Title 18 of the Municipal Code, all city beaches and parks shall be closed to public use at 1 a.m. and shall remain closed until 5 a.m.”

Readers rattled by rattler reports, updates included

In Tuesday’s edition of Stu News, there were several reports of rattlesnakes inside homes and too close for comfort on porches, on the stairs, and undesired locations that concerned some of our readers. So, we turned to our local expert, LBPD Civilian Services Administrator Jim Beres to keep our loyal peeps apprised of the snake situation of rampant rattlers here in Laguna.

As reported on Wednesday, Sept 26, there were two scary incidents of rattlers found inside two local buildings just 11 minutes apart. One snake was spotted at the 20500 block of Sun Valley Drive, where a person reported that a rattlesnake was in their home in their living room. 

“The rattlesnake was behind an entertainment center in the living room of the resident’s home. It is unknown how the rattlesnake got in, possibly through an open door. An animal services officer responded, caught the rattlesnake, and relocated the snake to a wilderness area in Laguna Canyon,” Beres explained.

Also, on that same day, one of the other more frightful findings was a rattler found in a restroom.

And even worse the reckless rattler was located at one of our schools.

According to Beres, “The rattlesnake was in a bathroom at El Morro Elementary School. It is unknown how the snake got inside the bathroom. An animal services officer responded, caught the snake, and relocated the snake to a wilderness area in Laguna Canyon.”

Please be cautious because there are too many snakes sneaking around in town. If you find one, make sure to report it to LBPD.

Police Files

Local rehab patients found rolling in Post Office lobby

Police Files FlahertyOn Sunday, Sept 30, at 6:53 a.m., LBPD officers responded to the US Post Office at 31677 Virginia Way for two “transient looking subjects” inside the lobby rolling around under the table. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “Both subjects were local residential rehab patients and one was determined to have two warrants for drug and alcohol violations out of West Court.”

New Hampshire resident Michael Flaherty, 22, was arrested on his warrants. The second subject was advised against further trespassing.

Meth, heroin and cash: big time bust dealt to suspected drug dealer

Police Files ReedOn Wednesday, Sept 26, at 11:27 a.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to the 1600 block of Arroyo Drive for a report of possible drug dealing. According to log reports, the two suspects were inside of a vehicle parked outside of a residence for about 40 minutes. Officers arrived and located three subjects inside of the vehicle, described to be a white sedan. 

“They all made furtive movements as the officers approached; therefore, they detained them for further investigation. Upon searching the subjects and the vehicle, officers discovered a sizeable quantity of drugs, heroin and methamphetamine, as well as a large amount of cash in various denominations belonging to the driver, Corey Aaron Reed, 36, of Garden Grove,” Sgt Cota said.

 Reed was placed under arrest for possession of a controlled substance for sale, a felony.

Bail was set at $25,000.

Multiple rattlesnakes found inside residents’ homes this week

Rattlesnakes seem to be on a home invasion spree. This week, there were two incidents of rattlesnakes being reported inside residents’ homes and several sightings too close for comfort. 

On Wednesday, Sept 26, there were two scary incidents of rattlers found inside two local residences just 11 minutes apart. At 4:12 p.m., at the 20500 block of Sun Valley Drive, a person reported that a rattlesnake was in their home under a chair in their living room. A little over 10 minutes later, at 4:23 p.m., at the 8600 block of Coast Hwy, a rattlesnake was discovered in a resident’s bathroom. Also, on Wednesday, a rattlesnake, possibly identified as a diamond-head rattler, was reported in a person’s side porch at 5:43 p.m. at the 0 block of Pacific Vista.

Then, on Thursday, Sept 27, at 3:49 p.m., at the 1300 block of Morningside Drive, a person called to report a baby rattlesnake on their front steps. And on Friday, Sept 28, at 12:51 p.m., at the 3200 block of Alta Laguna Blvd, a rattlesnake was reported near the entrance of a resident’s home.

Please be careful and make sure to contact LBPD if you find a rattlesnake in or near your home.

Police Files

Suspect arrested at Surf & Sand after allegedly punching friend out, jumping off balcony onto sand

On Monday, Sept 24 at 3:16 a.m., at Surf & Sand Hotel, a caller reported to LBPD that his friend had knocked him out and that he was bleeding from the face. 

According to log reports, the caller had tried to get his credit card out of the room, which angered his friend because he was entertaining female guests and didn’t want to be interrupted.

Police Files Jeremy Bell“When officers arrived to investigate, the suspect fled on foot by jumping off the balcony onto the sand,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said. 

 “The suspect left stolen mail, credit cards, and other property inside his car and the hotel room,” Sgt Cota said. “Officers searched the hotel room and vehicle taking evidence from both locations.” 

A taxi driver who was at the hotel recognized the suspect and later saw the suspect at the Chevron at SR-1 Coast Hwy and Crown Valley, but responding officers were unable to locate the suspect at the time, Sgt Cota said. 

At about 7 a.m., LBPD officers and detectives began surveillance near the hotel and the suspect was taken into custody at about 8:50 a.m. in front of the Surf & Sand. 

Bakersfield resident Jeremy Scott Bell, 33, was arrested for felony burglary second degree, battery, and using stolen credit cards. 

“Bell was positively identified and was on probation. He was charged with several fraud related crimes and burglary,” Sgt Cota said.

No bail was set.

Man gets punched for telling someone they look like talk show host Montel Williams

Police File Buce Kelly SmithOn Tuesday, Sept 25 at 7:55 a.m., at the 200 block of Broadway Street, a man, who was also the alleged victim, came to the LBPD station to report an alleged assault that had just occurred.

According to the alleged victim, he was in Whole Foods when he saw someone he thought looked like the talk show host Montel Williams. He walked up to the man and told him what he thought. Obviously not flattered, the suspect allegedly punched him in the ear and fled.

According to Sgt Cota, “Bruce Kelly Smith, 32, was found a short time later by police and positively identified as the suspect. Smith was taken into custody for the assault and two outstanding warrants. Smith listed his city and state of residence as Denton, Texas.”

Bail was set at $15,500.

Suspect unknown, the tale of a missing palm tree remains a mystery

On Wednesday, Sept 19 at 11:24 a.m., an LBPD officer met with a Merritt Farms employee who manages several properties in Laguna Beach, including at the 600 block of South Coast Highway, a vacant lot where the scene of the missing palm tree occurred.

According to police reports, the employee said the disappearance of the tree happened sometime between 2:30 and 6:30 p.m. that day.

According to the witness, “An unknown subject removed a planted palm tree from the rear of the lot that was approximately 6-feet tall and 2.5-feet in diameter. The exact value of the mature rooted tree was unknown, but was estimated to be around $2,000.

 According to Sgt Cota, “There were no leads and or evidence at the time of this call. [The employee] stated, he would check neighboring businesses to see if there was any video footage of the incident. No leads have been found at this time.”

Join LBPD for National Coffee with a Cop Day Wednesday, Oct 3

LBPD invites Laguna locals to join together with neighbors and police officers for coffee and conversation on National Coffee with a Cop Day on Wednesday, Oct 3. LBPD will host a morning and evening event for National Coffee with a Cop Day. The first event will be held at Peet’s Coffee located at Gelson’s Market, at 30922 S Coast Hwy, between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. The second event will be held at Starbucks at 180 N Coast Hwy, from 6 to 8 p.m. 

“All community members welcome and invited to attend. The National Coffee with a Cop Day events represent a unique opportunity for community members to informally meet with LBPD to discuss community issues, respond to questions, build relationships and, of course, drink great coffee,” said LBPD Community Services officer Nikie Hernandez. “We hope to see everyone there.”

Police Files

Visitor to Laguna arrested in felony hit and run that left pedestrian seriously injured

On Saturday, Sept 22, at 9:32 a.m., LBPD and LBFD responded to an injury traffic collision involving a pedestrian and hit and run vehicle at Beach Street and Broadway Street. The person who reported the incident said they didn’t see the vehicle but heard it prior to seeing the victim down.

Police Files BurgerbWhen the officers arrived, a woman was located sitting on a planter near the traffic collision scene with serious injuries. “It appeared she had a broken left arm and a large laceration to her neck,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota.

The suspect’s vehicle was found traveling westbound on Broadway Street, described as a new silver Lexus SUV with a sunroof and roof rack. According to log reports, there was “blood on the vehicle.”

“The responding officers did a good job working with local businesses and using the city cameras to identify the suspect and his vehicle,” Sgt Cota said.

“The suspect was identified as William Edward Burger, 60, of Redlands. Burger was arrested for felony hit and run at the Laguna Shores Hotel,” Sgt Cota said. “He listed that he is the CFO at Navco in Anaheim. It should be noted he was arrested the night before for DUI.”

According to LBPD police records, Burger was arrested on suspicion of DUI at 12:11 a.m. at Forest Ave and Beach Street.

Bail was set at $50,000 for the felony hit and run and $2,500 for the suspicion of DUI.

Poor pup plucked from parked Prius at Pavilions

On Saturday, Sept 22, at 4:57 p.m., an LBPD officer was dispatched to the Pavilions parking lot, at the 600 block of N Coast Hwy, in reference to grand theft of a dog from a vehicle. An LB Animal Services Officer arrived prior to the PD officer and contacted the victim. The victim parked her Prius near the back of the lot. 

According to the victim, she left her window lowered a few inches, doors locked, and her small young dog, Joey, inside, while she went into Pavilions for approximately 10 minutes. 

“When she returned, the dog was gone and the doors were unlocked,” Sgt Cota said. “Unfortunately, the windows were lowered enough for an arm to reach in and unlock the door. The ASO contacted Pavilions management and learned there are no cameras in the parking lot.” 

Joey is described as an 11-month-old blue merle toy Australian Shepherd. He is microchipped. The pup’s parent said she paid $1,500 for Joey, but he’s priceless.

Police Files Pup

Click on photo for a larger image 

Courtesy of

Not an actual picture of Joey, but a picture of a blue merle toy Australian Shepherd to be on the lookout for

According to dog experts, the toy is the smallest version of the Australian Shepherd, standing between 10 to 14-inches tall at the shoulder when full-grown and weighing between 12 and 17 pounds. Although he’s small, the toy version has all the herding instincts of his larger relatives.

There are no additional leads or suspects at this time. Keep a watch out for Joey and please call LBPD at (949) 497-0701 with any information or leads.

Police Files

Residents call police on man hitting cars

Police Files LeisbOn Tuesday, Sept 18, at 7:35 a.m., an LBPD officer was flagged down in the area of Cliff Drive and Aster Street by several citizens reporting that a man, later identified as James Eugene Leis, was running up and down the street hitting cars. 

According to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “He was located a short time later walking down the middle of the highway. When the officer tried to speak to him he picked up a large rock and failed to comply with the officer’s orders. Three other officers responded. Leis, being greatly outnumbered, decided to comply.”

Leis, 28, of Laguna Beach, was detained and his probation officer was contacted who placed a “flash hold” warrant on him. He was arrested and transported to Orange County Jail.

According to Stu News Laguna records, Since May 1, 2018, Leis has been arrested six times by LBPD.

No bail was set.

Main Beach assault report leads to pills arrest

On Monday, Sept 17, at 4:04 p.m., at the 100 block of S Coast Hwy, LBPD officers responded to the Main Beach area in reference to an assault report. Officers contacted Shane Hardin, who was one of the involved parties, and upon a consensual search located two white capsule shaped pills in his right front pocket.

“Hardin stated the pills were Hydrocodone and he had obtained them through a friend without a prescription. Additionally, Hardin knew he was supposed to have a prescription in order to possess and consume them,” LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Cota said. “Based on Hardin being in possession of the Hydrocodone without a prescription, LBPD issued Hardin a misdemeanor citation for Possession of a Controlled Substance.” 

Hardin signed the citation in LBPD’s presence and was released at the scene on his written promise to appear. Officers met with the other party, who alleged Hardin threw water at him. He indicated he was not desirous of prosecution and only wanted Hardin advised not to further disturb him.

Shane Christopher Hardin, 43, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for being in possession of a narcotic controlled substance.

LBPD gives a warm welcome to three new employees

Police Files James

Courtesy of LBPD

Jailer Devon James

LBPD gives their three newest employees a warm welcome – Jailer Devon James, Officer James Denevan, and Officer Kylan Peterson – and would like the community to welcome them too, as a part of America’s finest in blue.

James previously worked for the Los Angeles County Probation Department.

He grew up in Long Beach, and attended Millikan High School, where he played basketball. 

An avid sports fan, James enjoys watching basketball, baseball, and football, actually he enjoys all sports.

Police Files Peterson

Courtesy of LBPD

Officer Kylan Peterson

Officer Kylan Peterson is also a new asset to LBPD. Peterson is from Downey, and graduated from St John Bosco High School in Bellflower. He attended Long Beach City College and Cal State Dominguez and received his B.S. degree in Business.

Peterson loves all sports, including Fantasy Football and dirt biking. He is married to Meagan Kylan and has a 1.5-year-old baby boy named Carter.

Police Files Denevan

Photo courtesy of LBPD

Officer James Denevan

Officer James Denevan is also a welcome addition. Denevan grew up in Cypress where he graduated from Cypress High School. He then attended Cal State Long Beach and received his B.A. in Criminal Justice.

In his spare time, Denevan likes to ride dirt bikes. Denevan is happy to be in Laguna Beach. 

Police Files

Scuba diver found face down in the water at Crescent Bay Beach, unresponsive during rescue efforts

On Friday, Sept 14, at 8:04 a.m., LB Lifeguards received a 911 call about a single scuba diver face down in the water at Crescent Bay Beach. The patrol unit was on scene in three minutes at 8:07 a.m., according to LB Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond. 

“A single scuba diver was pulled out by a good Samaritan, an adult male with scuba equipment. Lifeguards performed CPR on scene at Crescent Bay Beach, but he was unresponsive,” Capt Bond said.

The adult male was then taken to Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo by paramedics. His condition is unknown. 

The surf has been rough and there have been a number of drowning events in the last couple of weeks. Capt Bond said the surf conditions have been pretty significant with 3 to 5 feet swells and yellow flag conditions.

Important safety tips for people who want to go out into the ocean: learn to swim; swim by an open lifeguard tower; swim with a buddy; always check with  the tower lifeguard to get up-to-date conditions; learn about rip current safety; and always go into the water feet first, Capt Bond said.

For this past weekend, on Saturday, Sept 15 and Sunday, Sept 16, there were 274 rescues, 42 medical aids, 4,454 public contacts, and 2,425 prevents. 

This summer, from June 23 to Labor Day, Marine Safety had 5,265 rescues, made 323,861 public contacts, and prevented 166,558 beachgoers.

Local man nabbed for meth in his buttocks, according to LBPD

On Saturday, Sept 15, at 7:09 p.m., an LBPD officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle driven near Calliope Street and S Coast Hwy. The officer advised the vehicle continued travelling southbound and requested an additional unit respond.

Police Files Ronald Herndon“The officer saw Herndon reaching around inside the vehicle. The vehicle yielded in front of the Surf and Sand,” said LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock. “Herndon repeatedly reached towards his shorts’ pockets and was taken out of the vehicle and detained in handcuffs. A probation search of his person and vehicle was conducted. Herndon was arrested for possession of controlled paraphernalia.”

Prior to entering jail, Herndon reportedly advised he had methamphetamine hidden between his buttocks. Further investigation revealed he was selling methamphetamine, according to Villwock.

Ronald Gene Herndon, 53, of Laguna Beach, was also charged with felony transport of a controlled substance and felony possession of a controlled substance for sale. Orange County Probation was contacted and he was placed on a probation hold.

Man having heart attack at Shaw’s Cove Beach saved by LBPD officers’ quick aid

On Sunday, Sept 16, at 2:49 p.m., “LBPD officer Tommy McGuire was dispatched along with LBFD to a medical aid for a heart attack on the stairs at Shaw’s Cove,” said LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator Jordan Villwock. “Beach Patrol Officer Tanner Flagstad was also in the area and responded as well. Both officer McGuire and BPO Flagstad arrived on scene first and began CPR along with using an AED, which provided two shocks before fire arrived on scene and provided life-saving treatment.”

Police Files Tommy McGuire

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Courtesy of LBPD

LBPD Officer Tommy McGuire (pictured here) and LBPD Beach Patrol Officer Tanner Flagstad saved the life of a man having a heart attack at Shaw’s Cove

According to Villwock, LBFD supplied Advanced Life Support and transported the 75-year old man to a local area hospital. When he arrived at the hospital, he was breathing on his own and talking to first responders. 

“LBFD Fire Captain/Paramedic Robert Abijay attributed the life-saving actions to what officer McGuire and BPO Flagstad did with early CPR and AED usage,” said Villwock.

LBPD later learned that the 75-year-old man they saved at Shaw’s Cove was celebrating his granddaughter’s engagement with family at the beach at the time of his heart attack and rescue. Hopefully, thanks to LBPD heroics, he will soon be able to continue the celebration.

Teens rescued from rough surf at Sleepy Hollow with help from a good Samaritan surfer and LB lifeguards 

On Friday, Sept 14, at 3:59 p.m., at the 600 block of Sleepy Hollow Lane, Laguna Beach Emergency Services, including Marine Safety, received a 911 call reporting three subjects in the water at Sleepy Hollow Beach.

 The reporting party said they were approximately 100 feet offshore at Sleepy Hollow Beach. 

According to LB Marine Safety Capt Kai Bond, “Our tower lifeguard from Main Beach responded, as well as two of our patrol units. At 4:01 p.m., the tower lifeguard made contact with the group. Since there was more than one person we had our patrol units back him up. We were able to rescue the three people out of the water by 4:03 p.m.”

Capt Bond said two of the three patients were transported to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach. One was not a medical aid, but the other two were transported. 

“The patient information is not known at this time,” Capt Bond said.

Police Files Scott

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Photo by Scott Brashier

Teens from Santa Ana needed rescued at Sleepy Hollow Beach

Eye witness Brynne Van Putten, who is a local, described the scene as she was walking her dog down the steps at Laguna Surf at the time of the incident.

“The surf was pretty rough that day, and there was a kid about 30 yards out in the water, and he was yelling. I looked out and there was a pod of seven bottle-nosed dolphins near him. I thought he was yelling because of the dolphins, that he was excited about them,” Van Putten said. “And his friends were running back and forth on the beach and all these guys, his friends were about 16 or 17-years-old. I kind of realized that he wasn’t yelljng about the dolphins, he was drowning.”

At the beach, she saw a group of about 10 girls, approximately 16-years-old, and a few people scattered around the beach. She noticed that there were only two surfers in the water. 

 “His friend was running up and down the beach yelling does anybody know how to swim?” Van Putten said. “One of his friends started to swim out in the water and he got in trouble. He tried to go back in, but he couldn’t reach him. I started to look around to see if there was a boogie board or a surfboard because the waves were so big, there was obviously a riptide, and there was just so much pull that I didn’t feel comfortable to go in to swim to him.”

Police Files Van Putten

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Photo by Brynne Van Putten

Santa Ana teens needed help in rough surf on Friday, good Samaritan surfer helps save the day

She said she was trying to call the lifeguards, but that they were all at Main Beach. 

“Then this other kid grabbed somebody’s boogieboard, it was obvious they were friends and tried to go in. He wasn’t able to do anything. He fell flat on his face,” Van Putten said. “Then it was obvious that somebody had gotten to the lifeguards because you could all their sirens going and the police sirens.”

But in the meantime, this kid was starting to go down, she said.

“And this young surfer, Michael, he just went running on in and he went out there, out to the guy. The kid went under twice,” Van Putten said. “Then Michael got to him and supported him on his board.” 

At this point the lifeguards came running down, Van Putten said. As another friend staggered out of the surf, his friends went out to the white water and grabbed him. He just collapsed on the beach.

“Then all the firefighters, paramedics, beach patrol, and police department got down there and the two lifeguards went running out into the water,” Van Putten said. “They went out to where Michael was and then all three of them got the kid in and started working on both of the kids.”

One of the kids started getting sick and they were put on stretchers and taken to the hospital. She said the kids were all from Santa Ana and told her that the boy that almost drowned got swept all the way down from Main Beach.

“If Michael hadn’t gotten to that kid when he did, he definitely would have drowned or he definitely would have been under,” Van Putten said.

The good Samaritan, surfer Michael Cipolletti, from Laguna Niguel, was the true hero, Van Putten added.

Man steals Mike’s Hard Lemonade from Ralphs

On Wednesday, Sept at 2:29 p.m., LBPD officers responded to Ralphs at the 700 block of S Coast Hwy in reference to a petty theft of alcohol. 

“LBPD officers contacted Brian Ensley who was still in possession of a Mike’s Hard Lemonade and Four Loco which he had stolen from Ralphs,” said Jordan Villwock,

LBPD Emergency Operations Coordinator. “Ralphs was desirous of prosecution and positively identified by an infield show-up.” 

According to reports, Ensley took off from Ralphs on his skateboard with the loot d’liquor stashed in his black backpack. According to police records, an officer said, “I located a strawberry Mike’s Lemonade with the subject and the can is still kinda cold.” The other chilled swill located on his person was a Hurricane Malt.

Brian Scott Ensley, 40, of Laguna Beach, was placed under arrest for petty theft and felony violation of probation.

No bail was set.

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