Briefly In Public Safety: Woman reports abuse in taxi

An Anaheim man allegedly held a woman in his taxi cab against her will in Laguna Beach and sexually assaulted her.

Mohd K. Al Awadi, 45, was arrested on suspicion of false imprisonment and sexual battery on Friday.

The victim called the Garden Grove Police Department to report being trapped inside a taxi and sexually battered the evening of Dec. 27 in downtown Laguna Beach.

Awadi has been charged with a number of traffic violations from around the county — including driving faster than 100 mph — and he pleaded guilty to two counts of fighting, according to the Orange County Superior Court.


Bonfire at Alta Laguna Park

Three juveniles were arrested on New Year's Eve for starting a fire at Alta Laguna Park.

The three were arrested on suspicion of felony unlawfully causing a fire of a structure or forest land after midnight Tuesday morning, according to the Laguna Beach Police Department dispatch log.

The Laguna Beach Police were called to the 3200 block regarding a vegetation fire at midnight. The caller reported a bonfire at the Top of The World Tower at Alta Laguna Park.

The caller said it was not a vegetation fire, but a fire on concrete using gasoline.


Structure fire turns out be Christmas tree in fireplace

Multiple 911 calls were made on Friday afternoon over a structure fire that turned out to be a resident burning a Christmas tree in a fireplace.

The Laguna Beach Police Department received several calls of a fire in the 1300 block of Bluebird Canyon Drive at 2:31 p.m. on Friday.

Callers reported seeing smoke coming from the chimney of a two-story house, according to the dispatch log.

A fire engine responded to the call and found the homeowner was burning a Christmas tree, Sgt. Louise Callus said in an email. There may have been a fire in the chimney, but if so, it did not cause any damage, she said.

— Britney Barnes

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