Police Cleared in Inmate’s Death


An inquiry into the death of a 43-year-old homeless man while in the custody of Laguna Beach police found no evidence of criminal negligence, the district attorney’s office announced Tuesday, Dec. 10.

A coroner’s pathologist determined that Stephen Gregory Gage died of pneumonia and organ failure and detected the presence of multiple drugs in his body, according to findings detailed in a Dec. 9 letter to Laguna’s police Chief Paul Workman.

Officer Greg Hiler arrested Gage for public intoxication on April 8, responding to a 7 a.m. complaint from an Ocean Way homeowner about a man digging through trash cans, the letter says.

Though Gage did not exhibit signs of a medical emergency, says the report, he complained of pain during booking and was taken to Laguna’s Mission Hospital less than three hours after his arrest.  A doctor diagnosed Gage as “critically ill,” experiencing multiple organ failure, sepsis and other maladies. He was admitted to the ICU and released from police custody, the report says.

Over the next 24 hours as Gage’s condition deteriorated, he was transferred to Mission Viejo and doctors intervened with CPR in three instances to resuscitate him, ultimately unsuccessfully, the report says.

“There is no evidence of foul play or neglect,” wrote Ebrahim Baytieh, senior deputy district attorney.

Police to Deploy More Checkpoints

Laguna Beach’s police department received a $33,199.00 grant for an anti-DUI program aimed at preventing roadway deaths and injuries from the state Office of Traffic Safety.

The grant will target impaired driving offenders as well as educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving. Crashes involving alcohol have been shown to drop by up to 20 percent when well- publicized checkpoints are conducted often enough, Lieutenant Jeff Calvert said in a statement.

Monday, Dec. 2

Assault. 2100 block of S. Coast Hwy. 10;27 a.m. A 26-year-old resident of a group home, who became upset and combative with staff, was detained and taken to Mission Hospital.

Fraud. 500 block of Forest Ave. 10:38 a.m. A Texas resident who is a victim of identity theft reported a possible suspect in Laguna Beach

Vandalism. 21600 block of Treetop Lane. 11:28 a.m. Classrooms were tagged over the weekend.

Fraud. 500 block of Forest Ave. 12:16 p.m. A resident received a notice of delinquency notice for $6,000 on an account he did not open with a bank in Orlando, Fla.

Vandalism. 100 block of La Brea St. 5 p.m. 5:55 p.m. A detective will investigate death threats written in chalk on the driveway of a doctor, who suspects a patient.

Tuesday, Dec. 3

Trespassing. 31400 block of Mar Vista Ave. 10:31 a.m. Brian Patrick Arndt, 30, of Long Beach, was arrested for suspicion of trespassing after he ignored direction by a caretaker and police to leave the property.

Burglary. 3000 block of Nestall Rd 10:57 a.m. A credit card disappeared while workers were in the house.

Traffic stop. Crown Valley. 1:38 p.m. A 45-year-old Orange man was arrested for warrants and held for $2500 bail.

Disturbance. Third St. 7:43 p.m. A 20-year-old Irvine woman was arrested for intoxication and battery after charging a police officer who was questioning her boyfriend.

Wednesday, Dec. 4

Fraud. PD. 1:40 p.m. A resident victimized by identity theft received a collection notice for $340 over cable service and equipment he didn’t authorize.

Traffic stop. Third Avenue 4:38 p.m. A 58-year-old Escondido man was arrested for warrants and held for $15,000 bail.

Thursday, Dec. 5

Detective activity. 26300 block of Via California. Carrie Jo Smith, 44, of Capistrano Beach, was arrested for an Alabama no bail, felony fraud warrant after a citizen informed police of her whereabouts.

Traffic collision. Pearl St. 4:20 p.m. A motorcyclist suffered injuries and was transported to Mission Hospital after a collision with a motorist.

Grand theft. 21500 block of Wesley Dr. 6:34 p.m. A $10,000 necklace was stolen during the period when contractors were in the house.

Grand theft. 400 block of Coast hwy. 7:38 p.m. Two watches valued at nearly $16,000 were stolen, possibly last month.

Grand theft. 400 block of Poplar St. 756 p.m. Three items valued at $20,000 were taken.

Friday, Dec. 6

Fraud. 2500 block of S. Coast Hwy. 1:30 p.m. A hotel guest ran up $4,000 in charges on a fraudulent credit card.

Traffic collision. 13-04200. Cleo St. 2:57 p.m. A 34-year-old Santa Ana woman suffered lacerations and abrasions after being hit by a vehicle driven by a 61-year-old Palm Desert man.

Robbery. 100 block of S. Coast Hwy. 6:30 p.m. Michael Garcia, 35, was arrested for slugging an officer trying to detain him while investigating the report of a robbery.

Traffic stop. 200 block of N. Coast Hwy. 12:15 a.m. A 29-year-old Laguna Beach man was cited for DUI and held for $2500 bail.

Traffic stop. 31400 block of Monterey St. 12:16 a.m. Kevin Gushard Gabrielson, 30, of  Tustin, was arrested for DUI and held for $10,000 bail due to a prior offense.

Traffic stop. Moss St. 1:51 a.m. Matthew McCray, 24, of Rolling Hills, was cited for DUI, a second offense, and held for $10,000 bail.

Trespassing. 400 block of Park Ave. 4:55 p.m. As a result of a trespassing report, a 21-year-old homeless man was arrested for outstanding warrants.

Sunday, Dec. 8

DUI. S. Coast Hwy. 1:09 a.m. A 53-year-old Newport Beach woman was cited for DUI and held for $2500 bail.

Stranded motorist. El Toro Rd. Dustin Taylor Scott, 23, of Temecula, was arrested and held without bail for outstanding warrants.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here