Retired Lawyer Jailed in Laguna Hit-and-Run

Times Staff Writer

A 77-year-old retired Newport Beach attorney was jailed Tuesday on suspicion of hit-and-run driving when an auto shop employee tipped police that a man had asked him to replace his car's smashed windshield.

George Jacobs' 1996 black Thunderbird had front-end damage and a broken windshield that still had hair on it, said Laguna Beach Police Sgt. Jason Kravetz.

A pedestrian was critically injured Saturday evening when he was hit while crossing Coast Highway in Laguna Beach.

Alerted to the damaged car, police said, they drove to the shop but said Jacobs had already picked up his car and left.

As investigators interviewed workers, however, Jacobs returned to the shop to tell employees "what a great job they did," Kravetz said.

Jacobs was arrested after he allegedly admitted "things that only the driver of this car would have known," Kravetz said.

Jacobs is accused of hitting David Gibbs, 42, as he walked with his wife in a crosswalk. Gibbs' wife escaped injury.

A witness said the driver sped from the scene, Kravetz said..

The impact threw Gibbs about 40 feet, leaving him with head and internal injuries and broken legs. He remained in a coma Tuesday at Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo, Kravetz said.

Jacobs was being held on $10,000 bail at Orange County Jail. He is expected to be arraigned today.

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