The gunman who barricaded himself in a car and prompted an hours-long shutdown of Coast Highway in Laguna Beach last week, was upset about a possible divorce, police said.
Lawndale sheriff’s deputies brought Edward Ernest Uribe’s wife to Laguna’s police department during the standoff, but she was never brought to the scene, Sgt. Louise Callus said. Uribe, who is still in custody, pleaded not guilty to 11 charges on Friday, Feb. 8, including allegedly driving under the influence of methamphetamine as well as possessing the illicit drug, court records show.
Uribe, involved in a multi-car collision outside Three Arch Bay, kept police at bay by claiming that his car was booby-trapped with explosives. Police and sheriff’s deputies tried to negotiate with Uribe, 41, of Carson, with a bullhorn, but ultimately defused the standoff with tear gas lobbed by a robot about 9:15 p.m.
As gas dispersed, local resident Ron Harris, who watched from his law office near the intersection, heard Uribe wailing and saw armed police wearing gas masks surround the battered car and take him into custody. A loaded handgun was recovered but no explosives.
Even as the gas drifted towards a dozen spectators, Harris wasted no time pleading his case with watch commander Sgt. George Ramos on behalf of two weary musicians, trapped along with other residents during the incident within the confines of Three Arch Bay.
“We were the first car in seven hours that got to go north,” said Harris, who hosted the visiting performers in his home.