Police Files

Arizona realtor turns himself in on felony domestic assault warrant: “This is an arrest that had to happen,” says LBPD

An Arizona realtor turned himself in on a felony domestic assault warrant from LBPD last week. According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, Laguna Beach Police detectives had been working on the case for several months. “This is an arrest that had to happen,” said Sgt Cota in an interview with Stu News on Monday.

According to Scottsdale, Arizona police reports taken on October 4, 2017, the suspect, Seth Solwa, came to Laguna Beach with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s daughter to stay at a friend’s house on a mini-vacation over Labor Day weekend last summer (2017). While on the trip, Solwa reportedly assaulted his girlfriend, before leaving town and returning to Arizona. The incident reportedly took place in the 700 Block of Cliff Drive. The reporting party’s daughter reportedly witnessed the suspect throw her mother to the ground, causing her mother to sustain major rib injuries.

“On September 14, 2017, the victim went to the doctor to have her ribs examined because she was having pain and difficulty breathing,” said Sgt Cota in an interview on Monday. “She was diagnosed by an Arizona doctor with a major injury to her ribs. She provided evidence of the doctor’s note to the (Scottsdale) officer.”

“The finished report was submitted to LBPD and forwarded to the investigations division, where it was assigned to a detective. LBPD began a criminal investigation on the incident. LBPD then began working with the Scottsdale Police Department and the victim and an arrest was obtained within the last week,” explained Sgt Cota.

While speaking with Sgt Cota in an interview, it was learned that the subject has a prior arrest history of domestic violence.

“As the investigation came to a close and the arrest warrant was granted, officers prepared to head to Scottsdale, Arizona for his arrest. Conveniently, Mr. Solwa elected to turn himself in to Harbor Court in Newport Beach for the LBPD arrest warrant with a bail of $100,000,” said Sgt Cota.

“He immediately posted bail and was given a future court date in July. A protective order was immediately granted by the judge for the female victim,” said Sgt Cota.

 

Car burns to a crisp in Canyon crash, igniting a fire

On Sunday, May 13 at 3:34 p.m., LBPD officers were dispatched to a brush fire/traffic collision on SR-133 at the S/B SR-73 off-ramp.

“Officers arrived with Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA) and found a vehicle fully engulfed in flames inside of brush along the side of the road,” said Sgt Cota. “The vehicle was recovered from the brush. The driver reportedly fell asleep at the wheel.”

Officers conducted traffic control and CHP handled the traffic collision, while LBFD, OCFA and OC Parks fire crews worked on the brush fire. 

“The fire was quickly contained, but outbound traffic was redirected down El Toro road for approximately two hours. The driver did not sustain injury,” Sgt Cota was happy to report.

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD PIO Twitter Page

A vehicle was scorched following a crash in the canyon on Sunday

 

Prowler reportedly walks through front door of unlocked residence with a knife in broad daylight

On Friday, May 11 at 1:14 p.m. in the 31800 block of Coast Highway, a man reported that a woman was in his home. He described that her hair was in a bun, she had a tattoo on the back of her neck, and that she was wearing long dark pants and a short-sleeve dark shirt.

The woman, who reportedly entered the home through an unlocked door, claimed that she was looking for her friend and that she needed to use the bathroom.

The resident did not see anything overturned, missing, or anything out of place, according to the police report.

LBPD arrested 19-year-old Alexandra Rachel Lujan, of La Puente, for felony burglary, carrying a concealed dirk/dagger, and trespassing.

According to Sgt Cota, officers found a 7” black knife, locked open with an exposed blade, on Lujan.

“The knife was located on a search of the person. It fell from her waist area. She trespassed and illegally entered,” explained Sgt Cota.

The suspect was arrested for felony burglary, carrying a concealed dirk or dagger, and trespassing and refusing to leave the property.

Bail was set at $50,000.

 

LBPD is cracking down on noisy cars

LBPD is on the trail of noise polluters of the V-8 variety this week. According to LBPD’s Facebook page, officers are revved up on ticketing loud exhaust offenders with a crackdown this week.

According to Sgt Cota, “There have been no arrests but citations have been issued. Records is still tallying up the amount of citations.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD Facebook Page

Cops on the trail for loud tail…pipes


Incident Reports

Saturday, May 12

Park Avenue & Glenneyre Street | Warrant

7 p.m. Saul Anaya, 36, Tustin, was arrested on two misdemeanor bench warrants. Bail was set at $5,000.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20300 Block | Burglary

3:09 p.m. The RP arrived at the location and found that locks had been cut to a storage container. The fence at the property was found open, and tools were noticed missing from the job site. The tools missing included a chainsaw, a weed wacker, and various hand/cordless tools. The approximate loss was $2,500 - $3,000.

La Brea Street & N. Coast Hwy | Speedrace Vehicle

12:25 p.m. A grey vehicle and a silver Ford Mustang were seen racing southbound on Coast Hwy from El Moro, reaching upwards of 80 mph at times. 

Glenneyre Street | 800 Block | Warrant

2 p.m. Donald Dean Jones, 38, Wyoming, was arrested on a felony warrant. No bail was set.

Castle Rock Road | 20900 Block | Animal Calls

10:59 a.m. A rattlesnake was seen coiled up on the RP’s lawn.

Catalina Street | 1100 Block | Petty Theft

8:03 a.m. A $100 cushion was reportedly taken from the RP’s patio the night prior by a named suspect.

Crescent Bay Drive & N. Coast Hwy | DUI

12:04 a.m. A 59-year-old man from Newport Beach was arrested for DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Friday, May 11

Sleepy Hollow Lane | 600 Block | Pole/Transformer Fire

9:38 p.m. A pole was seen smoking and arching, with sparks shooting off of the pole. Embers were seen at the top of the pole, with occasional flare-ups of flames.

Solana Way & S. Coast Hwy | Drunk in Public

8:35 p.m. A man was seen running in the middle of the road. The man approached a second RP who had been waiting for an Uber, and reportedly cursed at them. A 26-year-old man from Texas was arrested for being drunk in public.

Cliff Drive & Myrtle Street | Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance

2 p.m. Phillip Arthur Rose, 21, Laguna Niguel, was arrested for being under the influence of a a controlled substance. Bail was set at $1,000.

State Hwy & Niguel Road | DUI

1:07 p.m. A 34-year-old man from Capistrano Beach was arrested for DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Thursday, May 10

Legion Street & Coast Hwy | Traffic Collision

5:57 p.m. An individual crashed into a planter, and possibly into one of the gas pumps and one parked vehicle at the location. Damage was done to a park bench and a trash can. No injuries occurred.

S. Coast Hwy | 700 Block | Petty Theft

5:49 p.m. The RP stated that a man took a $15 bottle of vodka from the location, and that they wanted the subject to be prosecuted. When officers arrived, the subject had left the location, and was later seen at the bottom of the steps to the beach at Sleepy Hollow Lane. Brett Michael Bolin, 28, Laguna Beach, was arrested for petty theft. Bail was set at $500.

S. Coast Hwy & Mountain Road | Traffic Collision

4:43 p.m. A vehicle that had caught fire was involved in a traffic collision that included injuries. The number one southbound lane of Coast Hwy was blocked due to the traffic collision for about 45 minutes.

Park Avenue | 500 Block | Petty Theft

4:24 p.m. $100 worth of flowers was reportedly stolen from the porch of the RP’s home. The RP confirmed with the flower shop where the flowers had been delivered and that they did successfully drop the flowers off earlier on the same day.

Laguna Canyon Road & Canyon Acres Drive | DUI

3:22 p.m. A 52-year-old man from Costa Mesa was arrested for DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Oro Street | 1000 Block | Burglary

1:18 p.m. The RP, having returned from a weeklong vacation, noticed that a door lock was missing, and that a forced entry had occurred. Upon a search of property, nothing was noticed missing.

Tia Juana Street | 800 Block | Citizen Contact

12:28 p.m. The RP stated that squatters had been living in a home nearby. The squatters reportedly left several pieces of property behind, including a laptop which the RP suspected was stolen.

N. Coast Hwy | 300 Block | Petty Theft

10:59 a.m. A wallet was reported to have been stolen from the location. The approximate loss was $250.

Laguna Canyon Road | 1900 Block | Drunk in Public

12:38 a.m. A 52-year-old man from Laguna Beach was arrested for being drunk in public.

Wednesday, May 9

Aster Street | 200 Block | Domestic Battery

11:29 p.m. Helena Faith Vanzant, 20, Laguna Beach, was arrested for domestic battery. Bail was set at $10,000.

Coast Hwy & Via Mentone | DUI

6:27 p.m. Michael George Gianelli, 53, Casper, was arrested for suspicion of DUI with one prior. Bail was set at $10,000.

Forest Avenue | 200 Block | Petty Theft

5:54 p.m. An incident of petty theft was reported to have occurred on May 8 at approximately 7:50 p.m. The total loss was $80.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Fraud

3:09 p.m. The RP stated that after making an attempt to contact the Amazon technical support line, they gave out personal information to someone during a two hour conversation. The RP was advised to buy Firewall Protection for their Amazon Kindle for $699.00. However, when checking with Amazon about the purchase, Amazon did not show a Firewall Protection purchase. The payment made was later canceled by the RP’s credit card company.

Forest Avenue | 300 Block | Warrant

2:11 p.m. Andrea Rodriguez, 40, Temecula, was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant. Bail was set at $5,000.

Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Petty Theft

5:13 a.m. The RP stated that after waking up, they had realized that their backpack was missing.

Balboa Avenue | 900 Block | Vandalism

3:46 a.m. The RP stated that the rear tail light of their silver Mercedes Benz convertible was broken out.The Incident had occurred while th RP was parked downtown between 1:30 a.m. and 3:30 a.m.


Incident Reports

Tuesday, May 8

Forest Avenue & Coast Hwy | Drunk in Public

10:52 p.m. A 26-year-old man from Texas was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

Glenneyre Street | 800 Block | Drunk in Public

10:40 p.m. A 52-year-old woman from Laguna Beach was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

Sleepy Hollow Lane & S. Coast Hwy | DUI

9:21 p.m. Kelsey Erin Kvale, 30, Lake Forest, was arrested on suspicion of DUI with one prior. Bail was set at $10,000.

Forest Avenue | 200 Block | Petty Theft

7:21 p.m. A man inside the store was caught on video stealing a couple of T-shirts. A check of the area was performed, but the subject was unable to be located. The total loss was $80.

N. Coast Hwy & Emerald Bay | Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession for Sale of a Controlled Substance

7:12 p.m. Gabrielle Louise Franco, 21, Dana Point, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, and possession for sale of a controlled substance.

Ocean Avenue | 200 Block | Possession of a Controlled Substance, Owner Allowing Unlicensed Driver to Operate Vehicle, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Narcotics

8:56 a.m. Jerry Lee Morris, 47, Orange, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a vehicle, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of narcotics. Bail was set at $500.

El Paseo | 300 Block | DUI

1:57 a.m. A 20-year man from Las Vegas, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Monday, May 7

Stonington Road | Petty Theft

3:45 p.m. The RP stated that their wallet had been lost or stolen from the job site at the location.

Broadway Street | 200 Block | Warrant

2:32 p.m. David Christian West, 47, Tennessee, was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant. Bail set at $1,500.

S. Coast Hwy | 1200 Block | Battery

12:10 p.m. The victim of a battery that had occurred on May 6 requested to file a report about the incident.

Sunday, May 6

Ocean Avenue | 200 Block | Drunk in Public

9:32 p.m. A 61-year-old man from Laguna Beach was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

Glenneyre Street | 500 Block | DUI

9:12 p.m. A 58-year-old woman from Carlsbad was arrested on suspcion of DUI. Bail was set at $5,000.

Broadway Street | 300 Block | Disorderly Person

7:43 p.m. A witness reported seeing a man hitting the side of a bus, which was in park, and the driver inside was on their break.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Warrant

6 p.m. Robert Charles Hitchcock, 64, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant. Bail was set at $1,000.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Assault

2:02 p.m. A man reported getting hit in the face with a bar by a suspect who was unable to be located. The man was found to be awake and breathing, but required medics. Public Works was contacted in order to clean up blood that was left at the location.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Warrant

8:32 p.m. Sean Alexander Baity, 39, Pilot Hill, was arrested on a warrant from LA County. Bail was set at $26,000.


Police Files

Not this time: Virtual kidnapping scam is thwarted

For over three consecutive weeks, several women in Laguna have been targeted in a virtual kidnapping scam, a billion-dollar crime that’s sweeping the country. 

On Monday, May 7 at 3 p.m., LBPD received a call from a woman reporting that she was threatened with the virtual kidnapping scam.

“It was another kidnapping scam but was unsuccessful,” said LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota.

The woman who reported the attempted crime does not have kids, so she did not fall for the scam. 

“She knew about the scam from the LBPD warnings,” said Sgt Cota.

Thanks should go out to our helpful and proactive police department for getting the word out about this growing cyber crime.

In most cases, the best course of action is to hang up the phone and call 9-1-1.

For more tips and information, contact Sgt Cota at (949) 497-0701 or via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 

Asleep at the wheel with a foot on the brake still equals a DUI

On Tuesday, May 8 at 7:42 p.m., what started out as a welfare check did not fare well for a Mission Viejo man who was reportedly found passed out behind the wheel of his car at the 200 Block of Broadway Street.

When LBPD officers arrived on scene, Vincent Lee Daugherty, 30, was reportedly slumped in the driver’s seat of his black Honda Accord. He was parked east bound on Broadway Street in close proximity to a local liquor store. 

“A male was passed out inside his vehicle with the vehicle in drive and his foot on the brake,” said Sgt Cota.

“He was contacted and a DUI investigation was conducted,” Cota said. “He was arrested and this was his second DUI.” 

Because the suspected DUI was Daugherty’s second, bail was set at $10,000


Incident Reports

Saturday, May 5

Laguna Canyon Road | 20600 Block | Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

10:18 p.m. Allan Neville Friant, 39, Laguna Beach, was arrested for being in possession of a controlled substance, as well as for being in possession of drug paraphernalia.  

Coast Hwy | Wesley | Trash or Dumpster Fire

9:54 p.m. Two boys were reported to have been “setting things on fire.” A small trash can that was lit on fire was extinguished, and the two boys were detained by LBFD. After calling in arson investigators, the two juveniles were released to their parents.

S. Coast Hwy | 1500 Block | Vandalism

8:42 p.m. An officer responded to a call that the Surf and Sand Resort had been vandalized. Upon investigating, it was discovered that one of the conference rooms on the property had been spray painted with a significant amount of gold colored spray paint. The estimated damage was $800. A felony vandalism report was taken, according to LBPD.

S. Coast Hwy | 600 Block | Petty Theft

8:17 p.m. The RP stated that a man jumped on his bike and rode off with it, and was last seen going northbound on Glenneyre Street. The RP recovered the bike later. However, a box as well as a conga drum that was inside the bike’s basket were reported missing.

Coast Hwy | 7th Avene | Traffic Collision

5:17 p.m. A black Ford Mustang and a white Nissan Maxima were involved in a traffic collision that resulted in injuries. The number two lane at Coast Hwy and 7th Avenue going northbound was closed for 30 minutes. 

San Tropez Court | 300 Block | Grand Theft

3:19 p.m. The RP stated that a named suspect committed grand theft at the location where they were housesitting at. The approximate loss was $3,000 - $4,000.

N. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Drunk in Public

1:26 p.m. A 28-year-old man from Laguna Beach was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Warrant

12:08 p.m. Joshua B Mallonee, 34, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a warrant for driving with a suspended license, driving without registration, and for a DUI probation charge. Bail was set at $2,500.

S. Coast Hwy | 700 Block | Petty Theft

10:25 a.m. A man reportedly stole a $13.99 bottle of vodka from the location five minutes prior. The RP stated that the man steals from them quite often.

Catalina Avenue | 31500 | Burglary

10:14 a.m. The RP stated that a burglary attempt had occurred at the location, but that the no one was able get in, and that nothing was missing.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Stolen Vehicle

4:20 a.m. On May 5, LBPD received a message from La Verne Police Department indicating that they had located a 2006 Land Rover that had been reported stolen from a Laguna Beach resident two days prio. The vehicle was not damaged, stripped, or burned, and a suspect of the crime was brought into custody.

Broadway Street | DUI

2:52 a.m. A 64-year-old woman from Corona Del Mar was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Cleo Street & Glenneyre Street | Drunk in Public

2:03 a.m. A 51-year-old man from Capistrano Beach was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | DUI

1:48 a.m. A 22-year-old woman from Laguna Niguel was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Broadway Street | DUI

1:34 a.m. A 41-year-old man from Huntington Beach was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

S. Coast Hwy | 1400 Block | Warrant

12:53 a.m. A 60-year-old Laguna Hills man was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant. Bail was set at $1,500.

Jasmine Street & N. Coast Hwy | DUI

12:31 a.m. A 39-year-old from Huntington Beach was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Friday, May 4

Bluff Drive | 31500 Block | Warrant

8:12 p.m. Police responded to a report of four men and a few women having an open fire on the beach. David Daniel Lopez, 20, Yorba Linda, was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant (bail was set at $15,000), and on an additional misdemeanor bench warrant (bail was set at $5,000).

Ocean Avenue | 200 Block | Petty Theft

10:01 p.m. According to the RP, a man and woman left the location 30 minutes prior without paying for their $60 tab. The RP stated that they had video footage of the incident.

Balboa Avenue | 700 Block | Petty Theft

12:35 p.m. The RP stated that Amazon packages and medications were stolen from the front of their home. The approximate loss was $295.

Blue Lagoon | 100 Block | Warrant

12:12 a.m. Jeffrey Joseph Clody, 38, Santa Ana, was arrested on an Central Court warrant. Bail was set at $15,000.

S. Coast Hwy & Pearl Street | DUI

1:59 a.m. A 51-year-old man from Laguna Niguel was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Thursday, May 3

Ledroit Street & N. Coast Hwy | DUI

11:32 p.m. A 49-year-old man from Oroville was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Bluebird Canyon Drive | 700 Block | Fraud

7:21 p.m. The RP stated that an ongoing case of fraud was occurring, with the total loss of $96,000. The report for this case has not yet been completed.

Forest Avenue | 200 Block | Warrant

6:56 p.m. A 47-year-old woman Mission Viejo was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant. Bail was set at $300.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Warrant

6:24 p.m. Eric Lawrence, 53, San Clemente, was arrested on a misdemeanor bench warrant for being drunk in public. Bail was set at $5,000.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20600 Block | Drunk in Public

2:11 p.m. A 59-year-old man from Laguna Beach was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public. Bail was set at $500.

S. Coast Hwy & Brooks Street | Drunk in Public

1:15 p.m. A 52-year-old man from Laguna Beach was arrested on suspicion of being drunk in public. Bail was set at $500.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Citizen Contact

12:09 p.m. The RP stated that after she had bumped into a man earlier the same day, she saw the same subject taking photos of her later on.

Summit Drive & La Mirada Street | Traffic Collision

7:28 a.m. A traffic collision involving a a dark grey BMW and Infiniti QS80 occurred at the location. According to reports, the driver of the Infiniti admitted that they had experienced an instance of road rage. There were no injuries reported.

Wednesday, May 2

N. Coast Hwy | 200 Block | Traffic Collision

9:48 p.m. A traffic collision with injuries occurred, involving a dark red SUV and a black Range Rover.

Forest Avenue | 200 Block | Petty Theft

5:49 p.m. The RP stated that a black leather Kate Spade purse with six credit cards, a social security card, and a wallet was either lost or stolen two hours prior. The total loss was $100.

Broadway Street | 200 Block | Indecent Exposure

4:38 p.m. A 29-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of indecent exposure. Bail was set at $500.


Police Files

Running a red light on foot at 3:15 a.m. on Cinco de Mayo while stashing meth is not a good idea

On Saturday, May 5 at 3:15 a.m., a Laguna Beach Police Department officer made a pedestrian stop after seeing two males cross the street against a red light at Laguna Avenue and South Coast Highway.

The males were identified as Jordan Escobar, 25, and Juana Hernandez-Perez, 30, both of San Clemente.

LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota said, “LBPD found out that both men had warrants for their arrest. Escobar had an OC warrant for drug charges ($5,000) and Hernandez-Perez had an OC warrant for vehicle code violations ($2,500).”

According to Sgt Cota, both men were taken into custody and were admonished about the additional charge if any contraband was brought into the jail. 

“Once inside the jail, a jailer observed a white piece of paper protruding from Escobar’s buttocks. Escobar claimed it was nothing. A strip search was conducted and revealed that inside the paper was 4.4 grams methamphetamine worth about $350,” said Sgt Cota.

 A felony charge was added to Escobar’s initial warrant charge, and both subjects were transported to OC Jail. Bail was set at $25,000 for Escobar.

 

Hit by a car, motorcyclist ends up in the hospital 

On Saturday, May 5 at 12:58 p.m., officers were dispatched to a traffic collision with injuries involving a vehicle and a motorcycle at South Coast Highway and Ocean Avenue. The motorcycle was down. Officers blocked three lanes of traffic at the intersection, two northbound lanes of Coast Highway and one southbound lane.

 

Click on photos for larger images

Courtesy of Marshall Aren/Angela Russick

A motorcyclist went down and ended up in the ER after a traffic collision on Saturday

“The motorcycle rider was transported to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach with orientation concerns due to head trauma,” said Sgt Cota. “Traffic was impacted for approximately 40 minutes. The driver of the vehicle was placed at fault.”

 

Not your ordinary Joe, LBPD saddened by passing of former LBPD Police Chief Joseph Kelly at age 99

On LBPD’s Facebook page this week, the team expressed their grief after the loss of one of their own, Joseph Kelly, former LBPD Police Chief, 1971 to 1973.

“Members of the Laguna Beach Police Department are sadden (sic) by the passing of former Chief of Police Joseph Kelly at age 99. Chief Kelly lived a life as a public servant, first as a Marine where he retired in 1970 as a Colonel, and then as a Chief of Police in both the cities of Laguna Beach and Tustin. Thank you for your service! #RIP.”

Joseph John Kelly, age 99, Col., U.S.M.C. Ret., passed away May 1, 2018 in Laguna Woods. 

Kelly was born June 1, 1918, in the Bronx, N.Y., the son of Joseph Francis and Selma Kelly. He attended Fordham Prep in the Bronx and graduated in February, 1935 at age 16. Joe enlisted in the Marines in January, 1942, beginning a 28-year career both in enlisted and officer’s positions. 

He married the former Patricia Ann O’Connor on September 5, 1942. They were married 57 years, raising a family of nine children that eventually grew to18 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD Facebook 

Former LBPD Police Chief Joe Kelly, who cracked down on the drug epidemic during his tenure in the early ‘70s, passed away on May 1 at age 99

During his tenure as LBPD Police Chief, Kelly (along with his predecessor, LBPD Chief Neil Purcell) was known for cracking down on drugs in Laguna Beach.


Police Files

Frightened mom pays out thousands to suspected cartel members while on vacation in Laguna Beach

On Tuesday, May 1 at 7:25 a.m., an officer spoke with a frightened and distraught female victim in the front lobby at LBPD. The woman, who was vacationing in Laguna Beach from Nebraska, had fallen victim to a virtual kidnapping scam that has been circulating around town in recent weeks.

 “She was a victim of the virtual kidnapping scam via telephone. She received a phone call from a Nebraska area code and the suspect stated he had her son,” said LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota. “She attempted to contact her son, but was unable to do so. This increased her fears and she ultimately wired $3,000 to the suspect via Western Union.”

The woman recounted her horrifying story. On the call she heard a voice that sounded like her son plead, “Mom, it’s serious.” 

She was told if she did not wire the requested amount of money immediately, she would find her son in the river.

The suspects are two Hispanic males with suspected cartel connections, according to the victim’s statement

“There were two guys who went back-and-forth on the phone, “John Morales,” with a Spanish accent, who sounded about 20 years old. He claimed to be affiliated with the cartel,” said Sgt Cota.

“Victor,” the second suspect, also had a Spanish accent, according to the victim, and sounded approximately 40 years old.

“At one point, one of them said, ‘It won’t take much more to end this. You won’t find your son in the Missouri River.’”

She did the right thing by going to LBPD. 

Kathie Gross from Laguna Niguel is still suffering from PTSD, after enduring the trauma of being a victim of a virtual kidnapping scam thinking someone had taken her daughter. 

“I immediately heard what I thought was 100 percent my daughter’s voice. It sounded exactly like her. She said, ‘mom,’ and I said yes. ‘Mom I have a problem.’ She sounded very frantic. I said, ‘yes,’ thinking something happened at school. And then she said, ‘they took me, I’m in a van, and I don’t know where I am.’ I was just silent and then I said, ‘My God, where are you Jordan?’”

Gross explained, “Her name is Jordan which is often mistaken for a male’s name. I think at that point, they wrote her name down.”

Gross asked her daughter again where she was.

“’She said I don’t know, I think I am on the freeway and there aren’t any windows,’” Gross said. “At that point, a man got on the phone and asked, Is this Kathie Gross and I said yes. And he said, listen missy, you better not hang up, you better not be calling the police. My guys have got him.”

She said that right then he made the mistake of referring to my daughter as a boy.

“And at that point my radar sort of went up, still thinking it’s very possible she’s in that car. Because I heard her voice,” Gross said.

She said there were two things that raised red flags, the mistake of calling her daughter a boy and her daughter being in a school where the security is incredibly safe.

“I was thinking, if I hang up they’ll just think that I dropped the call. And in that time, they’ll call me back and I will have verified that she’s at the school,” Gross said. “So I hung up. I was absolutely out of my mind. It was a miracle I didn’t have an accident.” 

She called the school, however, it wasn’t as simple as that; her daughter stayed late at a class, so the school couldn’t locate her. 

“So they kept calling back and I kept hanging up calling the school,” Gross said. “As the moments went by I became more and more terrified.”

Luckily, the virtual kidnappers didn’t have her daughter. But, it has become her mission to get the word out so other parents won’t have to endure what she has. She found out that it has become a billion dollar national scam.

She said, “Shouldn’t people know about this?”

 

Big truck crashes on Nyes causing massive five-car collision, barely missing a driver head on

On Tuesday, May 1 at 11:42 a.m., LBPD received a call about a traffic collision involving a large truck that occurred on Nyes Place. 

When they arrived on scene they found the formidable 14-foot box truck turned on its side. 

“A 14’ box truck crashed in the 200 block of Nyes Place causing a massive five-car and one-structure collision,” said Sgt Cota.

The truck was turned on its side, as seen in photos below. Traffic in the area was heavily congested for hours. Thankfully, there were only minor injuries for the two occupants.

The truck was loaded with debris, thankfully no chemicals. 

Longtime Laguna Beach resident Johnny Miller recounted what he saw from his residence, a 270-degree fishbowl view of what happened after the point of impact, a collision he said was close to being deadly.

“These guys were doing construction at South Street, they’ve been doing it a couple of days. Suddenly, I hear this big noise and I look out of the window and someone had just smashed into the construction guy’s car in a driveway and the truck rolled over,” Miller said. 

He couldn’t believe his eyes.

“It was like watching a Hollywood movie. I didn’t think cars actually did that. This huge truck rolled over,” Miller said. 

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD PIO Twitter Page

Big truck hammers, hits a car, flips on its side and careens going sideways nearly hitting the driver straight on

After seeing what happened, he put the pieces together. 

Miller surmised that the semi-truck’s brakes went out at the very top of the hill at Nyes Place.

 “I guess on the way down, he smashed into a parked car and pushed it off the road. He totally plowed into it; the back end was totally off,” Miller said. “He kept going, plowed into the car down the hill that was parked in the driveway of the construction guy, rolled over, and then another car came out as soon as he rolled over.”

He said another car was coming up from under the tunnel at Victoria Place underneath Coast highway.

“The side of the truck hit the front of the car. If he hadn’t rolled over and kept going straight, he would have plowed straight into the driver’s side door and killed him,” Miller said. 

Miller said the driver was lucky the truck rolled over, instead of being seriously injured or worse.

Immediately everybody ran over to help the victim get out.

“They had to climb on the truck and open the driver’s side door and pull him out from the top of the truck to get him out,” Miller said. “And then the EMT’s came and like four police cars and firetrucks.”

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of Johnny Miller

Big truck causes a big scare after plowing down Nyes Place taking out five cars and a structure

He said it all happened really fast. 

“I’m lucky I turned my head when I heard it, otherwise, I wouldn’t have seen it turn over,” Miller said. “I go, whoa, that was weird and it was really loud.”

He said that it took about three hours to figure out how to haul away the big truck, “I mean there were four tow trucks towing it.”

 

Driver plows down a cement wall near beach entry 

On the evening of Tuesday, May 1, a driver in a black Toyota Prius pulled over and was taking a break from driving for some chill time at the 100 block of Moss Street and Ocean Way.

The driver tried to stretch inside the vehicle to get comfortable. “While stretching, he took his foot off the brake, believing the vehicle was in park,” said Sgt Cota. “The vehicle started rolling forward and he could not react quick enough to break.” 

Click on photo for a larger image

Courtesy of LBPD PIO Twitter Page

A driver accidentally drove through this concrete wall on Tuesday

Thankfully, there were no reported injuries, other than the 8-foot wall.


Incident Reports

Tuesday, May 1

West Street & Coast Hwy | Possession of a Controlled Substance, Attempting to Destroy/Conceal Evidence

7:54 p.m. Eric Alejandro Landa Garcia, 30, San Juan Capistrano, was arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance, and for attempting to destroy/conceal evidence.

9th Avenue & Coast Hwy | Traffic Hazard

5:00 p.m. According to reports, a man on a dark colored (possibly blue or black) bicycle was riding by vehicles, striking them with his hand, including a bus which he struck multiple times. The rider proceeded towards 9th Avenue going northbound on Coast Hwy, eventually being seen once again at Viejo and Coast Hwy headed southbound on Coast Hwy.

Louise Street | 1600 Block | Animal Calls/Bite

4:01 p.m. An incident of an animal bite was reported to have occurred near the location.

S. Coast Hwy | 1500 Block | Petty Theft

11:56 a.m. A few hours prior, some sunglasses and a surfboard were stolen from the office building at the location. There were a total of three suspects seen by the RP, and it was stated by the RP that one returned to the location later on. The approximate loss was $300.

S. Coast Hwy | 700 Block | Disorderly Person

11:43 p.m. The RP stated that a subject had entered the location, and proceeded to urinate inside of the business. The subject was said to have been loitering both inside and outside of the business as well.

Jamboree Road | 4600 Block | Detective Activity

10:47 a.m. Samuel Michael Fredland, 48, nfa, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant for violating a restraining order. Bail was set at $20,000.

N. Coast Hwy | 1300 Block | Warrant, Driving with a Suspended License, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Controlled Substance

3:15 a.m. Wesley David Clarillos, 28, Long Beach, was arrested on a bench warrant, for driving with a suspended license, for possession of drug paraphernalia, and for possession of a controlled substance. Bail was set at $15,000.

Monday, April 30

Sleepy Hollow Lane | 600 Block | Petty Theft

5:38 p.m. According to reports, a $350 pair of sunglasses was taken from the RP’s shirt pocket, which was hanging on a chair. The incident occurred on April 28 at around 10:30 p.m.

Forest Avenue | 500 Block | Warrant

3:53 p.m. Arash Rahimi, 39, Laguna Beach, was arrested on a warrant for probation violation. No bail was set.

S. Coast Hwy | 300 Block | Suspicious Person

9:27 p.m. The RP stated that a man and a woman might have stolen some shoes. The man was trying to block the view of the RP’s view while in the store. It was not known whether or not anything was taken from the location by the two subjects. A check on the location of the subjects was conducted. However, they were not able to be located.

Cliff Drive | 100 Block | DUI

1:03 a.m. A 39-year-old woman from Huntington Beach was arrested for DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Bluff Drive | 31500 Block | Property Found

12:15 a.m. An officer contacted a security officer who had located a tan bag at Table Rock Beach with two methamphetamine pipes inside of it. Also found inside of the bag was a phone, a phone charger cord, metal earrings, earbuds, and a ski mask. The backpack and its contents were booked into property at LBPD.

Sunday, April 29

N. Coast Hwy & El Moro Ridge Road | Citizen Assist

10:16 p.m. A golden sedan was reported to have been blocking multiple lanes of traffic at the location. 

Bluff Drive | 31500 Block | Drunk in Public, Battery, Obstructing an Officer

3:35 p.m. Officers responded to a report of a disturbrance occurring at the location. According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, the incident involved one man and two women, one of which was wearing just a t-shirt with no bottoms. Members of the group were reported to have thrown sand at OC Lifeguards. They had alcohol with them, and both females were being loud, using profanity, and slurring their speech, which is consistent with being intoxicated. The woman with just a t-shirt on was told that she was being detained, and was going to receive a citation. She was reported earlier to have pushed an OC Park Ranger, so battery charges were eventually added. Sabrina Ashley Trujillo, 20, Corona, was arrested for battery on an officer, and for obstructing/resisting an officer. Bail was set at $1,000. The man and the other woman were arrested for being drunk in public.

Oak Street | 100 Block | Battery

2:50 p.m. The RP stated that their son was hit in the face by another subject 30 to 45 minutes prior. The son then tried to look up the contact information of the suspect for follow up.

Laguna Avenue | 200 Block | DUI

2:09 a.m. Milton Antoni Martinez, 22, Santa Ana, was arrested on suspicion of DUI with one prior. Bail was set at $10,000.

Location not available at time of print | DUI

1:46 a.m. Laura Marguerita Crespo, 27, Covina, was arrested for driving with a suspended license, and on suspicion of DUI with one prior. Bail was set at $10,000.


Police Files

Late night knifing at Jack In The Box: Suspect flees in Mercedes Benz

At 12:28 a.m. on Saturday, April 28, LBPD officers and LBFD were dispatched to Jack In The Box regarding a stabbing investigation. The victim and a group of friends were inside the dining area at Jack In The Box when Alan Warren Anderson, 59, of Kerville, TX, approached them.

According to LBPD Spokesperson Sgt Jim Cota, “Anderson believed the group made negative statements about him so he approached them.”

“As he did this, the victim stood up and Anderson grabbed a folding knife from his back pocket,” said Sgt Cota. “Anderson opened the knife and lunged toward the victim with an upward slashing motion.”

While allegedly wielding the knife and slashing it at the victim, the knife blade made contact with the victim’s torso area and caused an approximate eight-inch superficial laceration. 

Anderson didn’t stay around to see what would happen next. After the alleged slash, Anderson dashed. Trying to get away, he fled the restaurant on foot, across South Coast Highway, toward Glenneyre Street. 

A quick-thinking Jack In The Box employee pursued Anderson and saw him jump behind the wheel of a black Mercedes Benz with Texas license plates. Anderson took off driving north on Coast Highway.

Shortly thereafter, the vehicle was spotted by officers in the area of Broadway Street and North Coast Highway. LBPD pulled over the Benz to conduct an investigative stop at the 1200 Block of North Coast Highway near Myrtle Street. Anderson, who is a retiree, was the sole occupant in the Mercedes.

 “His clothing and personal descriptors matched the description provided by the victim and witnesses,” said Sgt Cota. “He was detained and positively identified by the victim.” 

During a search of Anderson’s vehicle, a knife with blood residue and a handgun were located in the trunk of his Benz. No charges were filed regarding the handgun. However, he was taken into custody by the LBPD and charged with Assault with a Deadly Weapon, a felony, for the alleged stabbing at Jack In The Box.

Bail was set at $25,000.

 

Man faces felony vandalism charges after trashing City trash can

On Wednesday, April 25 at 10:30 p.m. at Main Beach, a Public Works supervisor observed a shirtless male push over a city owned concrete trash can causing damage.

 Brett Bolin, 29, Laguna Beach, “overturned the City trash can…causing the can to sustain a two-foot crack on one side,” said Sgt Cota.

The condition of the cracked can was irreparable. But not irreplaceable; the cost is estimated to be $500. 

Why was the defenseless trash can targeted?

“Bolin was upset because someone stole his belongings, so he took out his frustrations on the trash can. Bolin also admitted to damaging the trash can,” said Sgt Cota.

 Bolin was arrested for felony vandalism because the property damage amounted to over $400. He was transported to OC Jail. Bail was set at $20,000.

 

Speed racer takes officers on “wild and wanton” 4 a.m. car chase

On Friday, April 27 at 3:50 a.m., a vehicle was careening outbound at the 300 Block of Broadway Street, when an officer behind it reported that it was swerving in the roadway. The officer attempted a traffic stop and the vehicle accelerated and failed to yield. 

“The officer initiated a pursuit of the vehicle. The suspect vehicle accelerated, slowed and accelerated multiple times,” said Sgt Cota. The vehicle continued to flee outbound Laguna Canyon Road to the 5 Freeway northbound.”

 C.H.P. took over the pursuit at Jamboree and the 5 freeway. The pursuit terminated in Newport Beach on Newport Blvd at 17th Street. 

The suspect, Michael Allen Garcia, 40, of Laguna Beach, was arrested for felony evading. Garcia was not intoxicated or wanted for any other reason, said Sgt Cota. “He just decided to cause a pursuit.” 

The car was not stolen. 

Garcia was transported to OC Jail.


Incident Reports

Saturday, April 28

Myrtle Street & N. Coast Hwy | DUI

11:05 p.m. A 40-year-old man from Newport Beach was arrested for DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

S. Coast Hwy | 800 Block | Fraud

2:48 p.m. The RP reported receiving a fraudulent check for $1,400 from a client.

El Paseo | 300 Block | Warrant

1:13 p.m. Kyle Albert Winton, 38, Mission Viejo, was arrested on a Harbor Court warrant for being drunk in public. Bail was set at $1,500.

3rd Avenue | 31600 Block | Petty Theft

12:40 p.m. On April 18, the RP stated that while under hospice care by a private company, a named suspect removed a $600 pure gold Plumeria flower ring from his wife’s finger. The named suspect was asked about the theft, but denies stealing the item.

Coast Hwy | 31900 Block | Trespassing

10:38 a.m. According to the logs, the RP thought that someone had broken into their unoccupied property, and that there may be squatters inside. It was found that the previous owners had failed to notify the occupants of any status change regarding their ability to stay there. A 30-day notice for the subject to move out was drafted once the new owner found this out.

S. Coast Hwy | 1200 Block | DUI

3:39 a.m. A 22-year-old man from Orange was arrested for DUI. Bail was set at $2,500.

Friday, April 27

Coast View Drive | 900 Block | Restraining Order Violation

6:04 p.m. The RP stated that a named party had violated a restraining order.

Laguna Canyon Road | 1900 Block | Traffic Collision

4:59 p.m. A motorcycle was down in the center lane, but the rider was standing and responsive. A second vehicle involved was a tan Hyundai Sonata. LBFD was called to assist, blocking off the inbound lane. A 30-minute traffic alert was sent out.

3rd Street | 300 Block | Petty Theft

12:12 p.m. The RP stated that their handicap placard was stolen from their vehicle, which they believe they left unlocked.

Coast Hwy | 32400 Block | Animal Calls/Bite

9:42 a.m. According to LBPD, a 3-year-old Rottweiler was put on home-quarantine for 10 days after having bitten an individual. There were a total of two dogs off of their leashes which were sharing space with a carpenter that was still at work at the location. The carpenter received a minor scratch to the right leg. The Rottweiler had no prior documented bite history with Animal Services. Further investigation into the incident was said to have been underway.

S. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Battery

2:21 p.m. The RP stated that he was punched by a man who had a dog with him five minutes prior. The RP refused medical treatment.

Victoria Drive | S. Coast Hwy | Pedestrian Stop

1:45 a.m. Upon attempting to conduct a pedestrian stop, the subject ditched their bike and fled through a nearby property. Officers then conducted a search of the outside, alerting residents at the property to stay indoors while they checked around. The property was deemed all clear at 3:11 a.m.

Thursday, April 26

Coast Hwy | 30800 Block | Petty Theft

10:49 p.m. The RP stated that a subject had walked out on a $200 bill, and entered into an Uber (white Dodge Charger), which then headed northbound on Coast Hwy.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20300 Block | Traffic Collision

10:14 p.m. A traffic collision resulting in injuries occurred at the location, leaving severed wires hanging as a result of a power pole being struck during the incident. 

Seaview Street| 600 Block | Petty Theft

2:20 p.m. The RP reported approximately $300 in clothes and $200 in cash missing, and also noticed unauthorized charges on her credit card. The RP said she had given the credit card to a named subject in order to perform errands for the RP; the subject was also frequently at the RP’s property. Detectives will be following up on all collected reports of the theft.

Raquel Road | 20700 Block | Petty Theft

10:58 a.m. The RP stated that their cell phone was stolen from their unlocked vehicle that had been parked in their driveway.

Carmelita Street | 1800 Block | Petty Theft

7:55 a.m. The RP stated that someone had entered and ransacked their unlocked Fiat 500E. Their Porsche Cayenne was also reported to have been breached, with the vehicle registration being the only noticeable missing item.

S. Coast Hwy | 400 Block | Drunk in Public

2:44 a.m. A 26-year old man from Washington was arrested for being drunk in public. Bail was set at $500.

Wednesday, April 25

San Joaquin Street | 200 Block | Vandalism

4:12 p.m. The RP stated that their rental car had been vandalized.

N. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Petty Theft

3:51 p.m. The RP stated that a subject had stolen a tip jar from the location, and then drove off in a silver sedan 10 to 15 minutes prior. The subject was the passenger in the vehicle, which headed north on Coast Hwy.

N. Coast Hwy | 100 Block | Shoplifting, Warrant

1:53 p.m. Bradley Eugene Armes, 48, Irvine, was arrested for shoplifting, as well as on a Central Court warrant for a probation violation. No bail was set.

Coast Hwy | 31800 Block | Verbal Threats

1:34 p.m. The RP stated that a man had brandished a knife, teling him that he would kill him.

S. Coast Hwy | 1100 Block | Vandalism

10:16 a.m. A business at the location reported scratched taggings on the windows facing Coast Hwy.

Broadway Street | 200 Block | Traffic Collision

9:13 a.m. A motorcyclist was struck by another vehicle on the same day prior, resulting in injuries. The rider was reporting the incident for insurance purposes.

Broadway Street | 300 Block | Citizen Contact

8:49 a.m. The RP stated that someone had been stalking her, and that an unknown person had thrown her backpack on the ground. The incident reportedly occurred three days prior at the location.

S. Coast Hwy | 400 Block | Possession of Narcotics, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving With a Suspended License

3:49 a.m. Justin C. Barkhuizen, 39, New York, was arrested for possession of narcotics, for possession of drug paraphernalia, and for driving with a suspended license. Bail was set at $500.

Laguna Canyon Road | 20600 Block | Suspicious Person

1:05 a.m. The RP stated that a man had jumped on their vehicle, while a second man attempted to open the door to the vehicle. According to the RP, other vehicles stopped to help him, and both men eventually left. It was unknown whether or not there was damage done to the vehicle.

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