Laguna Beach police and other law enforcement agencies deployed to Main Beach on Sunday, Sept. 24, a precautionary measure due to uncertainty over whether a canceled demonstration would still attract attention.
It turns out, the anti illegal immigration group America First, whose demonstration in August drew 2,500 participants, most of them counter-demonstrators, did not show up at all, police Sgt. James Cota said. And just five counter-demonstrators did, he said.
America First organizer Johnny Benitez, of Lake Forest, told police he canceled the September rally after he and his family received death threats.
Counter-demonstrators at the August rally ranged from Democratic Socialists of America, who waved the flags associated with anti-fascist organizations, religious leaders, Native American activists, a local drum circle and many more non-aligned demonstrators standing against racism.
Police are presuming that another previously planned rally next month will go forward.
“We are already planning and gearing up for the published Oct. 22 event, which appears to be much larger,” Cota said.
Monday, Sept. 18
Vehicle burglary. 200 block of Forest Ave. Noon. The side window of a car was broken into overnight. Losses were pegged at $110.
Tuesday, Sept. 19
Pedestrian stop. 100 block of S. Coast Hwy. 1 a.m. Alejandro Alberto, 28, of Santa Ana, initially arrested for suspicion of public drunkenness was held for no bail as a parole violator.
Stolen vehicle. 200 block of Cypress Dr. Dominic Salvatore Tortorete, 25, of Anaheim, was arrested for suspicion of auto theft. Bail was set at $20,000.
Wednesday, Sept. 20
Burglary. 300 block of High Dr. 12:25 p.m. A pool service discovered a break-in at a home where the owner was away. A fuller inventory of losses is expected, but a semi-automatic handgun was immediately discovered missing.
Vehicle burglary. Thalia St and S. Coast Hwy. 2:48 p.m. Briefcase, wallet and camera were reported taken the day before.
Thursdaay, Sept. 21
Pedestrian stop. 20600 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. Monique Marie Castillo, 41, described as a Laguna Beach transient, was arrested for multiple warrants.
Friday, Sept. 22
Pedestrian stop. 300 block of Broadway St. 8 p.m. Leslie Jan Shacklett, 55, described as a Laguna Beach transient, was arrested for allegedly violating a restraining order. Bail was set at $15,000.
Saturday, Sept. 23
Occupied vehicle. Park Ave. 4:33 a.m. A 23-year-old from Bend, Ore., was arrested for suspicion of DUI after his vehicle jumped the curb and became stuck on the slope.
Vehicle burglary. 600 block of Hillcrest Dr. 3:27 p.m. Nothing was reported missing, though a window was smashed.
DUI. 2900 block of Laguna Canyon Rd. 11:19 p.m. A 22-year-old Murrieta woman was cited for DUI.