Police Files

Woman allegedly smashes beer bottle against man’s head, causing great bodily injury

On Monday, Sept 3, at 1:56 a.m., at the 600 block of S Coast Highway, LBPD officers responded to the Pacific Edge Hotel for a possible domestic violence incident in progress. Officers arrived and contacted a couple in their hotel room. 

According to police logs, the front desk called the room twice and sent security but no one responded.

Police Files Margaret PriestAccording to LBPD Spokesperson PIO Sgt Jim Cota, “Officers noticed blood on the door frame. The male subject was bleeding from a laceration to the side of his head.”

The female subject claimed that she was in the hotel room when the male returned to the room with the head laceration.

“Unfortunately for her, officers found a broken beer bottle with strands of the male subject’s hair attached, blood and broken beer bottle fragments in the bed, and blood transfer on the female subject’s arm; all indicating that the female subject had smashed a beer bottle against the side of the male subject’s head,” Sgt Cota said.

La Canada resident Margaret Priest, 22, was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon and domestic violence. The male subject was transported to Mission Hospital, Laguna Beach, and an Emergency Protective Order (EPO) was issued, according to Sgt Cota.

Bail was set at $50,000 and $25,000 for Priest’s two felony charges.

Magic mushrooms lead to jail trip for Laguna man

Police Files John FraserOn Monday, Sept 3, at 2:36 p.m., an LBPD officer conducted a traffic stop and contacted Laguna Beach resident, John Fraser. 

According to Sgt Cota, “The officer consensually searched the vehicle and located 290 grams of Psilocybin mushrooms and a scale.”

John Christian Fraser, 27, Laguna Beach, was taken into custody for possession of a controlled substance and transportation of a controlled substance for sales. 

Bail was set at $25,000 for both of Fraser’s felony charges.

“The bail amount was dictated by the large amount of drugs,” Sgt Cota said.

Laguna resident scammed out of over $8K on IRS phone fraud

On Friday, Aug 31, at approximately 8:31 p.m., an LBPD officer was dispatched to a local residence in reference to a fraud report. The victim stated she paid $8,140 to the IRS via telephone and later discovered it was a scam.

 The victim received a voicemail message earlier that day with the caller stating that they were the IRS, they needed to speak to her immediately, and to call them back. They left a telephone number for her to call back. She did and spoke to an unknown man with an accent, supposedly with the IRS. 

According to Sgt Cota, “She was told that an investigation into her taxes from 2012-2017 revealed that she immediately owed $8,140 to avoid an arrest warrant.”

The victim was transferred to various people and given steps to conduct a money transfer as well as stay on the phone throughout the process. 

“Unfortunately, she fell victim to this IRS scam and sent money to these unknown people via a name, banking institution, and routing number,” Sgt Cota said. “She also provided these unknown people her driver’s license number.” 

Once she learned she was being scammed, she attempted to contact her bank but learned they would not stop the transaction. It is unknown why at this time. LBPD detectives will be forwarding this case to the FBI. 

“I am really saddened to hear about this latest Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scam against one of our citizens. As a reminder, the IRS will not initiate contact with you by telephone, email, text, or social media. Furthermore, they will not call you and demand immediate payment,” Sgt Cota said.

“The FBI is fully aware of these type of scams going on across the country. If ever in doubt, ask for a call back telephone number and then call the Laguna Beach Police Department for assistance,” Sgt Cota said. “We have no problem calling any telephone number for you to verify the nature of the business and the validity of the caller.”

Uber driver arrested on vehicle theft warrant while on duty in Laguna Beach

Police Files Gregory ChattertonOn Monday, Sept 3, at 5:20 p.m., LBPD officers responded to a possible DUI driver northbound Coast Highway from Aliso Beach. Officers located the Ford Taurus and made a traffic stop on Broadway Street near the bus depot.

According to Sgt Cota, “The driver was identified as Garden Grove resident, Gregory Chatterton. Chatterton was an on-duty Uber driver. He was found not to be DUI.” 

Gregory William Chatterton, 41, of Garden Grove, was arrested for an outstanding Orange County felony warrant for vehicle theft.

Bail was set at $20,000.

Fraud suspect arrested for nearly $600,000 in stolen checks and electronic transfers

In November of 2016, a Laguna Beach resident reported to the LBPD that he had been the victim of check fraud. Detectives began an investigation, which revealed that the victim’s maintenance repair man, Jose Angel Martinez Casillas, was the suspect. 

Police Files Jose Angel Martinez Casillas“After a lengthy investigation, which included interviewing several involved parties and authoring 12 search warrants to several businesses and banks, detectives determined that Casillas had cashed/deposited 56 stolen checks over a 6-month period totaling $431,580.00 and was also responsible for 41 fraudulent electronic transactions totaling $154,016.74 for a total loss of $585,596.74,” Sgt Jim Cota said.

A felony arrest warrant which included 98 felony counts for forgery, grand theft, and burglary was issued for Casillas, and Laguna Beach detectives took Casillas safely into custody.

“The assigned detectives in this case did an outstanding job. They collaborated with the OCDA’s office and conducted a thorough and lengthy investigation that yielded numerous charges. It was a great feeling for the detectives to locate Mr. Casillas this morning and put an end to his criminal activity,” said Sgt Cota.

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