Mitchell Ralph Todd, 51, of Huntington Beach, plead not guilty during an arraignment on Dec. 28 to charges that he made criminal threats against a Laguna Beach man in November. The Laguna man was a customer of Todd’s business, OC Doves, and had reportedly hired Todd to release doves at his son’s funeral service.
On Nov. 10, Todd is accused of getting into a dispute with the victim, refusing to render services, and then requesting payment from him, according to Orange County District Attorney officials. Prosecutors said Todd is accused of leaving the victim a series of threatening voicemails on Nov. 11 and continuing to demand payment.
Laguna Beach Police Department’s Sgt. Jim Cota said that on Nov. 15, the Laguna Beach victim reported the incident involving Todd. LBPD proceeded to investigate the case.
“Todd was hired by the victim to release the doves at his son’s funeral. Based upon a dispute on the day of the funeral involving scheduling and payment, Todd did not render his services nor was he paid,” Cota said. “Following the funeral, Todd began sending the victim text messages and voicemail messages demanding payment and making threats.”
Cota said police listened to the voicemail messages from Todd to the victim, where “Todd first threatened with court proceedings, but quickly appeared to become upset and further threatened to have specific people come to his work and to his relatives’ home until he was paid.”
“The last voicemail message from Todd to the victim was the distinct sound of a handgun slide being pulled back and released as if a cartridge (bullet) was being chambered,” Cota said.
During a search of Todd’s home, Laguna Beach Police found 57 firearms of various styles and calibers, nearly 30,000 rounds of ammunition, over 100 magazines, a practice bomb, several body armors, swords, and Nazi paraphernalia. At the time of the arrest, Cota said only 12 of the firearms were registered to Todd.
In addition, over 200 doves were found at Todd’s residence and were placed in the care of a family member.
Todd was arrested by Laguna Beach Police without incident on Wednesday, Nov. 28, and was charged on Dec. 6 with one felony count of criminal threats.
Todd’s pre-trial hearing is set for 8:30 a.m. on Feb. 4 at the Harbor Justice Center. He faces a maximum sentence of three years in state prison.