Briefly in Public Safety

Get rid of unwanted, unused prescription drugs Oct. 29

The Laguna Beach Police Department is encouraging residents to participate in the Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 29.

The department will host an anonymous, no-questions-asked site to drop off expired, unwanted or unused prescription medication from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Suzi Q Community Center's underground parking lot, 383 Third St.

The event is aimed at combating the rise in prescription drug abuse and addiction, according to a news release from the Police Department. This is the third nationwide initiative; the last one brought in more than 121 tons of medication across the country.

Intravenous solutions, injectables and syringes will not be accepted.

For more information, contact Det. Larry Bammer at (949) 497-0383 or email

—Kelly Parker


Former CEO of Hennessey's arrested

The former CEO of Hennessey's Inc., the company that owns Hennessey's Tavern in Laguna Beach, was arrested Oct. 6 in Rancho Palos Verdes on a warrant that included 19 felony counts.

James Cram, 54, is accused of embezzling from the Redondo Beach-based company and its owners Paul and Jennifer Hennessey, according to a Redondo Beach Police press release.

He is suspected of embezzling about $1,146,000 over the course of his employment from 2006 to 2010.

The charges include grand theft, money laundering and tax evasion.

Cram is currently being held on $500,000 bail.

Besides Laguna Beach, Hennessey's Tavern has locations in Carlsbad, Dana Point, Hermosa Beach, La Jolla, Las Vegas, Manhattan Beach, Pacific Beach, Redondo Beach, downtown San Diego and Seal Beach.

—Joanna Clay


Brush fire squelched in Top of the World

Laguna Beach and county firefighters responded to a blaze at 9:30 p.m. Wednesday near fire road trails at the north end of Alta Laguna Boulevard, according to Division Chief Dan Stefano.

The fire — with flames reportedly more than 20 feet high — broke out on a day of record heat in many areas, and firefighters used "aggressive efforts" to extinguish it within 30 minutes.

"If we did not catch this fire as quickly as we did or if the winds were less favorable, this could have been a much different outcome," Stefano said Thursday in an email.

Firefighters stayed on the scene until 6 a.m. as a fire watch operation to ensure the fire did not flare up again, Stefano said.

The fire was estimated at about one acre, and the cause is under investigation.

No structures were damaged and there were no reported injuries.


Woman loses fingertip in dog fight

A woman in her early 60s was injured after intervening in a dogfight at Alta Laguna Park at about 5:25 p.m. Monday. The woman was walking her dog when another dog, which apparently got away from its owner, approached and the two dogs began fighting, Stefano stated in an email.

The woman attempted to stop the dogs from fighting and in the process a portion of her fingertip was bitten off. The fingertip could not be found by responding paramedics.

The victim was taken to Mission Hospital Laguna Beach for treatment. The dog was quarantined, according to police records.

—Cindy Frazier

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