Former Laguna Beach police officer pleads not guilty to assault with a deadly weapon charge

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Former Laguna Beach Police Officer Luke Christian Gilbertson pleaded not guilty to an assault with a deadly weapon charge on Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court.
(San Diego Union-Tribune Community Press File Photo)

A former Laguna Beach police officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Orange County Superior Court to a charge that he committed assault with a deadly weapon, court records show. The charges stem from an incident that occurred on Sept. 23, 2019.

Luke Christian Gilbertson, 35, faces one felony count for assault with a semiautomatic firearm and an enhancement for the personal use of a firearm in committing a felony.

According to an L.A. Times report from July 2020, the charges were made after Gilbertson allegedly pointed a gun at the back of the head of another officer after a night out drinking. Gilbertson reportedly accompanied three Laguna Beach police officers and a dispatcher to a barbecue and pool party before leaving with them to go to two additional locations for drinks in Santa Ana.

Laguna Beach police officials told The Times that Gilbertson, who had been with the department since 2010, was let go in March 2020, following a stint on paid administrative leave while an internal investigation was carried out.

He was released from custody after posting $50,000 bail on July 23, 2020.

Gilbertson’s attorney could not be immediately reached for comment. Gilbertson is scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial settlement conference on July 1.

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