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Man arrested after being removed from rocks off Laguna Beach

In an image from video, a helicopter arrives at a rock formation Saturday near Smithcliffs Road in North Laguna to remove a man who authorities say was intoxicated and refused to cooperate with law enforcement.
(Laguna Beach Police Department)

A man who authorities said tried to fight law enforcement agents who arrived to remove him from rocks off Laguna Beach was arrested Saturday, according to police.

The man, who authorities said was intoxicated, refused to cooperate with Laguna Beach police or the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, who responded just before 1 p.m. to a rocky area that extends into the ocean near Smithcliffs Road in North Laguna, police said.

The man apparently had climbed out of the Smithcliffs residential complex and fallen onto the rocks, police said. He eventually got up and made his way to Emerald Cove before turning around and heading south to Whiskey Cove, a secluded area accessible only via residential property, police said.

In a brief video that police shared on Twitter, the man is seen on the rock formation, with a Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol boat and a helicopter nearby.


Laguna Beach fire and marine safety personnel and Harbor Patrol and air support units participated in removing the man from the rocks.

“After a short flight in handcuffs, the subject was transported to Laguna Beach jail for the booking process,” police said on Twitter.

John Wilson, who is homeless but known to live in Laguna Beach, was arrested.



This article was originally published at 11:05 a.m. Feb. 25 and was later updated with additional information.