Briefly In Public Safety: Diver dies at Giggle Crack

A diver who was pulled into the Giggle Crack rock formation off Fisherman's Cove in north Laguna on Sunday afternoon died after efforts to resuscitate him failed, according to Laguna Beach police.

The diver, identified as Kenny Lee, 41, of Irvine, had been diving with a friend when both passed an opening in the rocks known as the Giggle Crack because of the unusual sound it makes. Both were pulled into the rocks by pounding surf, and Lee disappeared, according to Sgt. Louise Callus. The friend extricated himself and attempted to pull Lee out of the hole but could not. The friend reported Lee missing at 2:46 p.m., Callus said.

Laguna Beach lifeguards and firefighters launched a rescue and pulled Lee out, and CPR efforts were started on shore, Callus said. He was transported to Saddleback Hospital for further treatment, but was pronounced dead on arrival by hospital staff.

On Mother's Day in 1998, a mother and her boyfriend drowned trying to save her daughter, who had fallen into Giggle Crack. On May 10, 2009, three people were rescued after two good Samaritans attempted to rescue a teenage girl who had been pulled into the crack. All survived.


Burglar hits optical shop

A burglar stole an estimated $250,000 worth of eyewear from an optical shop in the 1200 block of South Coast Highway after smashing a window with a potted plant, Callus said. An alarm was also tampered with, she said.

The burglary was reported at 9:33 a.m. Sunday.

"The burglar went directly to the very high-priced eyewear," Callus said.


Field lights vandalized at high school

Vandals caused an estimated $7,000 worth of damage to padding around light standards on a Laguna Beach High School field, according to police Sgt. Louise Callus.

The pads, which protect players who might run into the metal posts, were tagged with graffiti and one had a large X cut into it. Eight of the padded light standards were reported damaged at 7:55 a.m. Sept. 8.


ID theft lands local man on federal 'watch list'

A Laguna Beach man whose identity was stolen by someone on the terrorist watch list recently learned that his information was used to obtain a Texas driver's license, Callus said.

The victim told police he has been detained and interviewed by immigration officials over the years. The report was made at 4 p.m. Sept. 8 at police headquarters.


Vehicle impound leads to woman's arrest

A Westminster woman was arrested on multiple charges while picking up her car from a police impound lot at 9 a.m. Saturday, Callus said.

The vehicle, registered to Kristie Lynn Weekly, 39, had been parked on private property in the 1800 block of Laguna Canyon Road without the property owner's permission, Callus said.

The vehicle was impounded by police, who also found an arrest warrant for the vehicle's owner. When Weekly showed up at the tow yard to claim the vehicle, police arrived and arrested her on the warrant, and also on suspicion of methamphetamine possession.

She was held on $10,000 bail, according to police records.


Driver arrested at gunpoint

A 22-year-old Temecula man was arrested at gunpoint after a police officer on patrol observed three vehicles racing on South Coast Highway at Cardinal Avenue at 8:55 p.m. Saturday, Callus said.

One vehicle immediately slowed and the other one turned onto Nyes Place and then onto Highland, forcing one car off the roadway, Callus alleged. The vehicle then turned onto Solana Way and rear-ended a large truck that was in the roadway.

The driver, Brandon David Bates, and a male passenger were taken out of the car by three officers at gunpoint. Bates was arrested on a car theft warrant and also on suspicion of reckless driving.

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