July 25. According to a police report, a Laguna Beach 40-year-old was lifting weights in front of a mirror at his Costa Mesa health club when he felt a strong push on his right shoulder that caused him to fall against the mirror. Looking up, he saw the culprit was a fellow gym member. Stunned, the victim shouted, "Excuse me!" in a "loud and sarcastic manner." The assailant then turned, raised two 20-pound dumbbells over his shoulders, and swung them down at the victim's face. A jump to the right turned a potentially skull-splattering assault into a glancing blow to the victim's chest and left biceps. When the dumbbells clattered to the floor, the two combatants began wrestling, resulting in a grizzly "bear hug" that was broken up by onlookers. After the intervention, both men continued their workouts as if the incident had never occurred. However, détente was temporary. A short while later, the victim approached the assailant and advised him that "the situation could have been prevented if he would have apologized" for the initial shove. His sagacity was not appreciated: the assailant immediately grabbed the victim's head with both hands and "tried to gouge his eyes out with his thumbs." Once again the two were separated, and the assailant departed the scene. Police investigators subsequently photographed a sizable black-and-blue bruise on the victim's left biceps. The case is still under investigation.
Abraham, Remy-Martin and John July 26. Police reports featuring stolen alcohol usually entail a few punks at Chevron hauling off some cheap beer. Fancy after-dinner liqueurs and sippin' drinks don't often make the crime blotter. But last week, a member of the Drambuie generation relieved an Albertson's supermarket in Corona del Mar of its best bottle of cognac. The "liquor supervisor" (who we assume is much like a wine steward, except for the Albertson's apron and holstered pricing gun) reportedly forgot to lock the liquor cabinet; the following day, a bottle of heavy brandy, imported from the French town just northeast of Bordeaux, was gone. Surveillance cameras revealed a middle-aged suspect reaching into the case, but experts were unable to determine if he in fact removed any bottles. The suspect was later filmed exiting the store and holding a cell phone to his ear. There is no audio feed, but we surmise he is telling an accomplice to "nab a wheel of brie."
Back Draft July 31. Why do firemen wear red suspenders? Perhaps to keep their pants. At 4:30 a.m., Costa Mesa fireman Walter Dill hopped on fire engine No. 2 and responded to an emergency call. After the call, Dill's mask, gloves and turnouts (the protective rubbery outfits firefighters don to brave intense heat) were missing. Police figure an unknown suspect reached inside the truck and grabbed the precious clothing off a hook. Unless police apprehend someone in size-36 yellow pants and a jacket with the word "Dill" emblazoned on his or her back, replacement gear will cost local taxpayers $600.
Visa: It's everywhere you want to be, and it's watching you right now! Aug. 1-2. Telemarketing schemes have become so much more aggressive. An 83-year-old Corona del Mar gentleman reported that at 5 p.m., a caller claiming to be from Visa asked to speak to his wife. Explaining she "wasn't interested," the gentleman then hung up the phone. The caller immediately rang back with the same question; an identical exchange ensued. The following day, the purported Visa rep called seven times in the span of 40 minutes, ultimately claiming, "We know where you live, and we'll take care of you."