Laguna Beach Police have identified the man they say was responsible for a nearly five-hour standoff Wednesday night after he allegedly threatened police with a car bomb following a traffic accident.
Edward Ernest Uribe, 41, of Carson, is in custody at Orange County Jail and charged with three felonies: possession of both a firearm and controlled substance and bringing a controlled substance into prison; and three misdemeanors: prohibited person possessing ammunition, resisting a peace officer and being under the influence of a controlled substance, according to a police-issued press release. He is being held on $50,000 bail.
Police said Uribe was involved in a five-vehicle traffic accident at 5:20 p.m. Wednesday on Coast Highway and Vista Del Sol.
Witnesses reported seeing Uribe's vehicle, a Ford Mustang, driving erratically in Dana Point. They told officers that Uribe had a gun in his lap and fire department and Orange County SWAT team members were called to assist. Officers drew their weapons and tried to get Uribe, who was the only person inside the Mustang, to exit the car, the release said.
Uribe didn't comply and during this initial contact, an officer fired one round, striking the Mustang. Uribe was not injured and told police that if the car's door was pulled open, it would explode, according to a police statement.
Uribe remained in his vehicle and didn't communicate with police. Residents in the immediate area received a phone message via the AlertOC system advising them to remain in their homes or businesses.
SWAT team members helped transport paramedics in an armored vehicle through the scene into Three Arch Bay to help a 70-year-old driver involved in the original accident. Laguna Beach police also transported medical personnel through the scene from Crown Valley Parkway to Mission Hospital, Laguna Beach, with a human organ needed at the hospital, according to the release.
At 9:15 p.m. officers threw tear gas into the vehicle and Uribe exited the car 30 minutes later from the passenger side. He collapsed onto the sidewalk and was taken into custody. Uribe was treated at Mission Hospital Laguna Beach for tear gas exposure, but had no other injuries. A loaded .22-caliber handgun was recovered from the Mustang.
Traffic was shut down on Coast Highway between Vista Del Sol and Seventh Avenue for several hours, reopening at midnight, Laguna Beach police Sgt. Louise Callus wrote in an e-mail.