Laguna Beach police officer suspected of elder abuse, fraud is placed on leave

The Laguna Beach Police Department placed one of its officers on paid administrative leave this week pending the outcome of an investigation of possible elder abuse and fraud, the department said Friday.

Fullerton police on Tuesday arrested Rock Wagner, a Laguna Beach police officer, along with his sister Wendy Wagner and her boyfriend, Norman McBride.

Rock Wagner, 58, lives in Lake Forest; Wendy Wagner, 55, and McBride, 58, live in Huntington Beach, Fullerton police said.

Rock Wagner is a nine-year veteran of the Laguna Beach Police Department and works as a patrol officer. He was placed on leave Tuesday, Sgt. Jim Cota wrote in an email.

Fullerton police said the three suspects defrauded two Fullerton residents out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, Sgt. Jon Radus said.

Radus described the man and the woman as elderly.

The Orange County district attorney’s office and county Adult Protective Services reported the incident to Fullerton police in June, authorities said.

Laguna Beach police said no criminal activity occurred while Rock Wagner was on duty.

“As law enforcement officers, we are held to the highest of standards, and in no way is the arrest of Officer Wagner a reflection of the hard-working men and women of this outstanding police organization,” Laguna Beach police Chief Laura Farinella said in a statement.

The Wagners and McBride posted bail and were released from Fullerton City Jail, authorities said.

District attorney’s office spokeswoman Michelle Van Der Linden did not return a call Friday about whether charges had been filed.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Fullerton police at (714) 738-5336 or (714) 738-6765, or Orange County Crime Stoppers at (855) 847-6227.

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