Police Files

Boy, 17, with no license, nabbed for speeding with 5-yr-old in car

A Laguna Beach PD motor officer stopped a car on North Coast Highway near Irvine Cove Drive for speeding at 9:49 Sunday morning.

When the officer spoke to the driver, he learned that he was a 17-year-old without a driver’s license. He had also been reported as a missing juvenile but police were able to confirm that he had returned home but that had not been reported to police.

There were three passengers with the 17-year-old – boys 5 and 13 who were his brothers and a 19-year-old friend.

The officer also detected something else – a definite odor of marijuana. Once an additional officer was on scene, an investigation for pot began. The 19-year-old soon admitted to having more marijuana and a small amount was located in his shirt. He was issued a citation for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana.

Police detained the three juveniles from Costa Mesa and took them to the police station where they were released to an adult family member after further investigation.

It is possible that additional charges might stem from the incident.

Police Files

The details of what happened at Cress Street Friday

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Chris Tomlin

The OC Sheriff’s SWAT Team rescue vehicle at Cress Street Friday

The following is a statement from the La Casa Del Camino Hotel and has been verified through the LBPD by Stu News Laguna as being accurate.

Around 6:45 a.m., several guests reported a perfume-like odor and complained of itchy eyes and sore throats. As a precaution, a member of hotel staff phoned the Laguna Beach Fire Department. 

Firefighters arrived promptly on the scene and began conducting voluntary evacuations as a precaution. Police were requested by the LBFD at 7:15.  

Avila’s El Ranchito and the Surf and Sand Resort stepped in to lend a hand. Michael Avila assured La Casa Del Camino they could move their guests over to El Ranchito even though they weren’t even open yet. The Surf and Sand generously offered a room for the overflow as well.

During these evacuations, a guest on the third floor who appeared to have a negative reaction to the smell, refused to evacuate his room. 

Around 7:30 a.m., the Orange County Sheriff’s Department Bomb Squad and SWAT team, along with the Orange County Fire Authority’s Hazmat unit were called to the hotel in order to investigate the suspicious circumstances and identify the source of the smell. The scene was immediately contained and no threat was present to the Laguna Beach Community. 

“The SWAT team went into the room [at 2:30]. We did not locate the individual. We did not see anything suspicious,” said Laguna Beach Police Department Emergency Operation Coordinator Jordan Villwock. “It’s believed that the subject possibly left before our arrival this morning.” 

After a thorough search of the establishment, no threat was found. The smell was caused by a bottle of cologne being left unattended on a heater. 

Despite complaints of feeling ill, no hotel guests have been hospitalized or reported any injures due to these events. 

“This is a good exercise for us to go through as hoteliers,” said owner Chris Keller. “The Fire Department and the Police Department have been outstanding. Our guests are really amazing and understanding. This is how a community comes together.”

La Casa Del Camino and its restaurant concepts reopened at 4 o’clock and guests were allowed to return to their rooms. 

Details & update on the Arch Beach Heights house fire

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Photo by Christina Shook

The home that burned on La Mirada Street Thursday night (and reported in our Friday edition) was completely destroyed according to the Laguna Beach Fire Department. Two firefighters were treated at the scene for minor injuries.

LB Fire Chief Jeff LaTendresse said there were two unusual circumstances about the call that came in just after six o’clock. “Our dispatchers had just received a call about multiple fire alarms in a multi-unit building on S. Coast Highway and a full structure response was dispatched.

“As those units were responding, the La Mirada Street calls came in and it was quickly apparent that we had the probability of a fire there.”

A second structure response was dispatched meaning eight fire engines and three ladder trucks were responding to calls in Laguna Beach at the same time.

Chief LaTendresse redirected the first response apparatus, which included all four Laguna Beach engines, from the alarm call to Arch Beach Heights. 

The call on S. Coast Highway turned out to be a false alarm.

Chief LaTendresse then explained the second unusual circumstance. “The lower levels of the home on La Mirada Street were fully involved almost immediately; probably at the same time the home’s fire alarms went off.

“Our engines could see the flash [of massive flames] quickly as they were responding and we were able to call it a working fire Justas quickly. That meant a second alarm and because of the false alarm call downtown, the second alarm response was already en route.”

Eight fire engines and three ladder trucks were in Arch Beach Heights within minutes of the call and that made a big difference in keeping the massive flames from spreading to any neighboring residences.

There were two people in the residence at the time of the fire. Chief LaTendresse said they were able to get outside quickly. “One of the women decided to go back inside in an attempt to save her pet birds. A neighbor saw that and followed her to extoll that she needed to leave, which she said she was doing because there was too much smoke for her to stay. She did not require any assistance for smoke inhalation.”

The three pet birds perished in the flames. 

The cause of the fire is still being determined.

For the record – police will be looking closely for drunk drivers who over-celebrated St. Patrick’s Day 

Laguna Beach Police will have beefed up DUI saturation units on the streets of town Thursday night – St. Patrick’s Day.

Don’t drink and drive and if you see a suspected impaired driver, don’t hesitate – call 9-1-1 immediately.

Police Files

Blaze destroys hillside home in Arch Beach Heights last night

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LBHS student Beebe Bedell took this photo from her deck across the street shortly after the fire was first spotted by neighbors who began calling 9-1-1

Seven 9-1-1 calls came in at the emergency dispatch center in town shortly after six o’clock Thursday evening all reporting that flames and heavy smoke were seen in the 1200 block of La Mirada Street.

When the first Laguna fire engine arrived on scene, it reported that a hillside structure was “fully involved” with fire. 

Click on photo for a larger image



Mary Hurlbut took this from Temple Hills. It shows the hillside home fully involved

Once a command was established and other apparatus arrived, it was clear to firefighters that they needed a defensive approach to protect neighboring homes from the intense blaze. The burning residence was tiered down the hillside with multiple sublevels. All levels were engulfed in flame.

A second alarm was called and the flames were confined to the original residence. It took firefighters nearly an hour to knock the flames down to a point where they felt it safe to enter sublevels and douse the fire inside.

Click on photo for a larger image


Photo by Ryen Caen


Firefighters scurry to haul hose to an attack point to get water on the flames.

The residents were at home and managed to escape the flames, a witness said.

The cause of the fire was not determined last night. We will update this story when more information is known.

SF man saw the sign and was given ample time to read it

An officer pulled over a car for speeding near Alta Laguna Blvd and Tree Top Lane early this past Saturday morning. When the driver was questioned, it became apparent that he had a suspended license. His passenger, Mary Jane Madrid, 31 of Costa Mesa, had two misdemeanor warrants and she was arrested.

A search of the car led to the discovery of a glass meth pipe and the driver was arrested for two misdemeanor charges – possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a suspended license.

Both were taken to the police station. Inside the sally port prior to entering the jail booking area, there is a sign that is pointed out to all prisoners who are given plenty of time to read it and they are asked if they understand it.

It makes it clear that it is a serious crime to being any contraband into a jail in the state of California. Dustin Patton, 25, San Francisco, said he understood the sign.

In the jail, officers found a baggy of methamphetamine on Patton and he was charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance and felony bringing a controlled substance into a jail.

The bail on the simple drug possession charge is $500. 

The bail for the felony charge is $25,000.

Police Files

Sherman Oaks couple has a bad night visiting Laguna

Police emergency dispatch received a 9-1-1 call at 1:38 a.m. Saturday from a hotel guest in the 1400 block of S. Coast Hwy. According to the police log, the caller said a woman in the next room was yelling, “Let me out! Help me! Stop!”

Officers responded and arrested Mohammad Jamaal Hussein, 29, of Sherman Oaks for felony domestic battery against the female who had been screaming, with bail of $50,000.

Paramedics treated her for her injuries.

The victim, Aisha Emma Mitrea, 26, Sherman Oaks, ended up under arrest for a felony warrant from the LAPD with two charges of perjury, identity theft and false personation as another real person in a court proceeding with criminal charges.

Bail on the warrant was $150,000.

The couple in this Prius threw away the stereotypes

Toyota has a TV commercial you may have seen where cops are pursuing four suspects in a Prius on city streets. The dispatcher mocks the cop who radios that the Prius is going pretty fast.

If Toyota wants a true crime story for additional images to change the stereotypical Prius driver – an environmentally conscious “thinking” person – they might consider the results of a traffic stop made in the 300 block of Cliff Drive at a little past 11 o’clock Friday night. 

The Prius was pulled over after the officer saw it on the wrong side of the yellow stripes and running a red light.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD fills in the rest… 

“The officer spoke to the driver and learned that he had an active restraining order against him with the woman passenger in the car. She also had a restraining order against her – from him. 

“The officers searched the car and found a bag of methamphetamine and an eighteen-inch long baton.” 

Michael Hadipour, 54 from Escondido, was arrested for violation of a protective order, possession of a baton, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, all misdemeanors. 

Roya Kazemzadeh, 48, Rancho Santa Margarita, was taken to jail for violation of a protective order and possession of a controlled substance, also misdemeanors.

Bail for both was $16,000.

Police Files

Dealing drugs in the daytime from the trunk of your car is a bad idea especially when you have 20 pounds of pot in your Mercedes

Laguna Beach resident Ryan Fuller, 33, was arrested for felony possession of Marijuana for sales at 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon after a caller reported that a man appeared to selling drugs from the trunk of his car. She said multiple vehicles had pulled up by the suspect’s car and people got out and appeared to be doing transactions.

Fuller had parked his 2014 Mercedes in a space on Cedar Way behind a café near Aster Street.

Police responded and contacted Fuller. Captain Jason Kravetz of the LBPD said, “He was found to be in possession of 20 pounds of marijuana, which appeared to be packaged for sales. He was arrested and all of the marijuana was seized.”

The case is still under investigation.

Drunk driver leads cops on an eventful drive through town, stopping in a driveway where he ran into a stranger’s home

Patrol officers saw a Chevy Silverado pickup truck passing in the right hand parking lane of northbound Coast Hwy near Montage Resort Drive at 4:49 Sunday afternoon. Police followed him as he turned onto Nyes Place and would around onto to northbound Glenneyre.

LBPD Captain Jason Kravetz said, “He continued driving recklessly, and near the 800 block of Bluebird Canyon Drive, the suspect got into a hit and run collision before continuing eastbound on Bluebird.  He finally came to a stop in a driveway in the 900 block of Oriole, left his truck running, and ran into a stranger’s house.” 

Dylan Michael Candelaria, 46, Laguna Beach, was arrested for drunk driving with a prior conviction (2011), reckless driving, hit and run and trespassing.

Police Files

Two arrested after fighting cop downtown early Saturday morning

A man and woman were arrested after police responded to a reported melee at S. Coast Hwy and Forest Ave at 1:46 Saturday morning.

By the time the first patrol unit arrived on scene, the fight involved just two men. That officer managed to halt the fighters but when he attempted to detain one man, that one slugged the officer in the face and broke free.

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said Monday, “The man ran from the officer, but the officer was able to catch him and after another struggle a nearby Good Samaritan assisted the officer with handcuffing the suspect.”

Dennis Mondragon, 23 of Lake Forest, was arrested for misdemeanor assault on a police officer and felony resisting arrest.

LBPD booking photos

After other officers arrived, they learned that a female with Mondragon had fought with two bouncers at the White House a few minutes earlier. Courtney Ellis, 20, of Rancho Santa Margarita, was arrested for misdemeanor battery.

The officer who fought with Mondragon sustained cuts to his face and legs.

Police Files

Teenage girls rob woman on Anita St at knifepoint in broad daylight

Police said a woman walking alone in the 500 block of Anita Street Wednesday afternoon was robbed at knifepoint by teenage girls. 

Sgt. Tim Kleiser of the LBPD said police were not sure if two or three blonde haired teenage girls had approached the woman.

He said the victim called 9-1-1 within minutes of the robbery. “They drove past her on Anita Street as she walked toward the beach and stopped in front of her. The suspects approached her and demanded her purse and cell phone. She gave them $5 and they fled…”

Sgt. Kleiser said they were in a dark grey or black sedan or small SUV and were last seen westbound on Anita Street. The vehicle may have had out of state plates according to police who added that the driver appeared to be a male.

LBPD detectives are investigating the case.

Woman arrested after driving stolen car from the IE to visit the beach 

Police patrol units learned that a stolen white Saturn reported from Riverside had driven into Laguna Beach at the north City limits at 3:03 a.m. Tuesday morning. They searched for the car and located it parked in the 1000 block of Cliff Drive.

As officers watched the Saturn, other officers began an area search nearby, Sgt. Tim Kleiser indicated. They encountered a woman at Shaw’s Cove beach who denied knowledge of the car.

At 5 a.m., they saw her nearby the parked Saturn and questioned her once more. Her answers led them to a search and the keys to the stolen vehicle were discovered.

Tamra Trueblood, 43, from Murrieta in Riverside County, was arrested at 5:15 a.m. and charged with felony vehicle theft.

Police Files

Laguna Niguel man arrested for two attempted robberies Saturday

Click on photo for a larger image

Photo by Kay Metis

Several police units set up downtown to make arrest of suspect

LBPD officers arrested a Laguna Niguel man, 27, at Glenneyre and Forest Ave at 11:43 a.m. Saturday after he attempted to rob two downtown businesses.

LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said Monday, “Officers responded to Art of Dr. Seuss in the 400 block of S. Coast Hwy for a robbery that had just occurred. The officers located the male suspect near Glenneyre and Forest and he struggled with the officers. They were able to detain the male and learned that he had also committed a robbery at Tuvalu located nearby. 

The suspect had entered Tuvalu and approached the store clerk at the register and ordered the employee to empty the register and give him all the money. The employee ran next door and called the police. The same male had previously run into Art of Dr. Seuss and demanded money an employee there. The employee told the suspect she did not have any money and he left. Nothing was taken from either business.

Joshua Poeske was taken into custody felony robbery, misdemeanor battery on a peace officer, and misdemeanor resisting arrest.

Sgt. Kleiser explained: “While in the booking room at the PD, Poeske kicked an officer and additional officers responded to the jail. After a struggle with Poeske they were able to detain him within the jail. An officer received minor injuries from the altercation.

The combative suspect was immediately taken to Orange County Jail, police said.

Stolen vehicle recovered on El Paseo – arrest made

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Photo by Dennis Rooney

Police secured the scene on El Paseo without incident

Police spotted a stolen 2009 Hyundai and managed to perform a felony car stop on El Paseo near the Main Beach cobblestones late Sunday afternoon.

Details were sparse other than it is known that Michael Mitchell, 51 of Orange, was arrested for felony possession of stolen property.

Police Files

Laguna rapist convicted – facing life in prison

Laguna Beach detectives arrested Babak “Bobby” Azadgilani, 28, Laguna Niguel, in May of 2013 after an investigation of a sexual assault here the month before. 

On April 21, 2013, the defendant met the victim at the beach and when she left to walk home, Azadgilani followed her to her front door, despite the victim repeatedly telling him that he was not allowed to enter her home. 

He eventually convinced her to allow him inside. Once inside, Azadgilani sexually assaulted the victim, including forcibly raping her. After he left, the victim called 911 and reported that she had been sexually assaulted. 

The LBPD issued a press release naming the suspect on May 17. Another woman came forward after seeing the news report alleging that he had sexually assaulted her at knifepoint at his Laguna Niguel residence on May 11, 2013.

Azadgilani was found guilty by a jury this week of two felony counts of forcible rape, and forcible oral copulation, with sentencing enhancements and allegations for sexual crimes against more than one victim and the use of a deadly weapon in the commission of a sexual assault. 

He will be sentenced March 25 and faces life in state prison.

Homeless man nabbed for armed robbery using hockey stick

Officers responded to the 200 block of Broadway at 3 p.m. Sunday after a caller reported a fight in progress. When police arrived on scene, they discovered that a man had been beaten by another man using a hockey stick and that the assailant had taken two bottles of prescription meds from the victim’s backpack.

Police were provided with a good description of the suspect by witnesses but were not immediately successful while searching the area.

At 6:24, they spotted the suspect identified as Colby Outlaw, 44, no fixed address, at the Broadway bus depot and after a brief investigation arrested him for felony armed robbery with bail set at $100,000.

Man, 27, arrested for felonies after punching an officer

A 9-1-1 caller reported that an officer was involved in a fight at the Broadway bus depot shortly after nine o’clock Monday morning. The caller said the man had punched the officer.

LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser said that Benjamin Allen Farley, 27, Laguna Beach and another man had been fighting and the officer had responded to that call.

“When the officer arrived he saw the two men fighting. One of the two [Farley] attempted to leave and after the officer ordered him to stop he turned around and walked toward the officer. The officer told the male to sit down but he refused and continued walking toward the officer. 

“When [Farley] came close, the officer took hold of him and attempted to sit him down. The man struggled with the officer and the two fell to the ground. Farley continued to fight with the officer and when two other officers arrived they were able to handcuff him. The officer received minor injuries from the altercation,” Kleiser added.

Farley was arrested for felony resisting an officer and felony battery on a peace officer with bail set at $20,000.

Police Files

Police arrest driver in Friday felony hit & run Saturday morning

Photo by Mark Nelson

This Chevrolet SUV was hit head on in a hit and run crash Friday afternoon

Police and fire responded to a head on traffic crash an N. Coast Hwy and Beverly Street at 3:32 Friday afternoon. A 17-year-old girl from Rancho Santa Margarita sustained minor injuries and was taken to hospital according to LBPD Sgt. Tim Kleiser.

On scene, it was learned that a Jeep SUV had left the scene. That vehicle was found parked on Hillcrest Drive shortly after the crash.

Photo by Christopher Kling

The suspect vehicle on Hillcrest Friday

Suzanna Olson, 54, of Laguna Beach, the registered owner of the suspect vehicle, was arrested at her home on Cliff Drive ay 9:48 Saturday morning. She was charged with felony hit and run with bail set at $50,000.


Shaena Stabler and Stu Saffer are the co-owners. Shaena is the Publisher and Stu is the Editor-in-Chief.

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