Police: 7 Detained After Panga Boat Lands on West Street Beach
At 7 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29, Laguna Beach Police, Laguna Beach Lifeguards, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection responded to a panga boat landing at West Street Beach in South Laguna.
Sgt. Jim Cota said seven subjects had been detained as of Thursday afternoon, and authorities were still looking for others after obtaining a video that showed 13 individuals fleeing from the boat.
“The investigation is still ongoing,” Cota said.
On Thursday afternoon, LBPD, Marine Safety and Border Patrol were still in the area searching on foot for the additional panga boat passengers. Authorities also located two “take-away” vehicles which were believed to be picking up the passengers.
This story was still developing as of the Indy’s deadline on Thursday. For more current information, visit www.lagunabeachindy.com.
Huntington Man Arrested for Threatening Laguna Resident
A 51-year-old Huntington Beach man was arrested by Laguna Beach Police on Wednesday, Nov. 28, after reportedly making threats to a Laguna Beach resident earlier this month.
LBPD Sgt. Jim Cota said on Nov. 15, a Laguna Beach victim reported a threats incident involving the suspect, Mitchell Todd.
“Todd owns and operates a business which provides the release of doves at events,” Cota said. “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. 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.
Upon service of the search warrant at the residence on Wednesday, 57 firearms of various styles and calibers were seized, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. Cota said only 12 of the firearms were registered to Todd.
Todd also had numerous Nazi paraphernalia and a confederate flag, which were photographed and documented.
“We are looking into the Nazi and confederate flag and any ties to hate groups,” Cota said.
In addition, over 200 doves were found at Todd’s residence and will be placed in the care of a family member.
Todd was taken into custody by LBPD detectives for violation of criminal threats without incident. Cota said Wednesday that Todd was being assessed by medical staff for a psychological evaluation.