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Briefly In Public Safety

Man accused of masturbating near child

A 54-year-old homeless man was arrested after police were called about a man allegedly masturbating while peering at a child playing in a yard on Ocean Vista Drive at 5:13 p.m. Tuesday, Lt. Jason Kravetz said.

The suspect, Richard Paul Lyons, who police say is a convicted felon with a criminal history from several different states, was allegedly peering into the backyard where a 4-year-old child was playing, and masturbating. A neighbor called the parents, who were inside. The parents came out, took the child in and called police.

Police said that when Lyons was caught in the brush behind the home, he was partially undressed and had items in his possession that led officers to believe he was engaging in illegal sexual activity. He was taken into custody on suspicion of indecent exposure, and police will also seek an additional charge of annoying/molesting a child younger than 18. Lyons was held on $10,000 bail at Orange County Jail.

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The child was not harmed and was apparently not aware of the incident, Kravetz said.

Man accused of threatening family

A 45-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of making threats against his ex-girlfriend and other charges after allegedly confronting the woman in her driveway at 1:10 a.m. March 4, Kravetz said.

Stephen Andrew Bailey allegedly threatened physical harm to the woman and her children, and also allegedly displayed a firearm and threatened the victim with the gun. A few hours later, officers found the man nearby and arrested him for terrorist threats, a felony, possession of a narcotic and brandishing a firearm, a misdemeanor.

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The gun was never fired, and the woman did not suffer any injuries, Kravetz said. Bailey was held in Orange County Jail on $100,000 bail, according to jail records.

Trash can kicking leads to man’s arrest

A Mission Viejo man was arrested after police saw him allegedly kick six trash cans onto South Coast Highway, strewing trash into the street at 2:01 a.m. March 4, Kravetz said.

An officer was sitting at a traffic light in the 200 block of Thalia Street when he saw three young men walking on the sidewalk in the 900 block of South Coast Highway. One allegedly kicked two large trash cans, and they fell into the street spilling trash into a southbound lane. As the man continued walking with his friends, he approached four additional trash cans and allegedly kicked all of them over and into the street.

The officer pulled over and told the man to stop, but the man allegedly took off running. Seth Nathaniel Schwartzhartley, 30, was caught in the parking lot of the Riviera Hotel at 825 S. Coast Hwy. After being detained, the officer saw that he had some sort of commercial mat in his possession, possibly taken from a business down the street. Schwartzhartley was arrested on suspicion of misappropriation of lost property/theft and resisting arrest.

Driver accused of DUI in rollover crash

A 19-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI after his convertible flipped in the 1600 block of Bluebird Canyon Drive at 10:05 p.m. March 4, trapping himself and a passenger, Kravetz said.

When firefighters arrived, the red Mitsubishi was on its roof. A preliminary investigation indicates that the driver, Thomas William Hopton, was traveling westbound on Bluebird Canyon when he lost control, hit a curb, then a tree and rolled over. Speed and alcohol consumption are believed to have played a part in the crash, Kravetz said.

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After both men were extricated, they were transported to Mission Hospital, Mission Viejo with head and facial injuries. Hopton was treated and released to the custody of Laguna Beach police, who arrested him. The 17-year-old passenger, a Laguna Beach resident, was still in the hospital Tuesday, Kravetz said. Hopton was held in Orange County Jail on $75,000 bail, according to jail records.

Medical problem blamed for pileup

A 68-year-old man driving a Honda northbound on the Coast Highway near Seventh Street apparently had some sort of medical issue and ran into the rear of a legally parked Saturn at 11:55 a.m. Sunday, Kravetz said. The Saturn was propelled into the back of a Dodge truck. The driver of the Honda did not suffer any injuries from the collision, but was transported to the hospital to be checked out for the medical issue which caused him to crash.

Man accused of hit-run and DUI

A 26-year-old Laguna Beach man was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run after allegedly driving into a parked car on Wildwood Avenue near Second Avenue and fleeing the scene at 12:41 a.m. Monday, Kravetz said.

A witness provided a vehicle description to police which was broadcast to the officers. One officer searching for the hit-and-run vehicle found it parked in the upper level of the Mission Hospital parking structure.

The driver, Ian Taylor Glendinning, was found nearby. He had suffered injuries and was treated prior to booking.

Woman held on DUI after vehicles hit

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A 34-year-old Rancho Santa Margarita woman was arrested after her vehicle veered off the road and hit three parked cars in the 700 block of North Coast Highway at 12:13 a.m. March 4, Kravetz aid.

There were no injuries. The driver, Liza Renee Mlcoch, was arrested on suspicion of DUI. Mlcoch’s bail was set at $10,000 because of a previous DUI conviction, Kravetz said.

Mlcoch was driving a white 2010 Chevy Impala. The parked vehicles "” a 2009 Ford Focus, a 2010 Toyota Previa, and a Toyota Tacoma pickup "” had moderate to major damage.

Time to change clocks and batteries

Daylight saving time will begin at 2 a.m. Sunday, and the Laguna Beach Fire Department urges residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when they turn their clocks one hour ahead.

In addition to changing the batteries every six months, the Orange County Fire Chiefs’ Assn. recommends replacing any smoke alarm that is 10 years or older. Smoke alarms should be cleaned at least once a year by lightly sweeping the dust out with a soft brush and tested at least once a month.

“The peak time for home fire fatalities are between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping," said Fire Chief Kris Head. “Changing the batteries in your smoke alarm is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths."

This is also an good time to check and rotate earthquake kits.

The Fire Department will assist the elderly with changing smoke alarm batteries or installing smoke detectors. Call Brennan at (949) 497-0700 to make an appointment.



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