Wrecked Cars, a Gun, Possible Explosives, Tear Gas and an Arrest

Traffic on Coast Highway in Laguna Beach was snarled throughout Wednesday evening as officers responded to a man who threatened to set off explosives he claimed were in his car. None were found.

UPDATE, THURS. FEB. 7, 12:45 P.M.: The suspect in last night's standoff is Edward Ernest Uribe, 41, of Carson. He's been charged with several violations. Click here for the full update.

11:04 UPDATE from the Laguna Beach Police: Southbound Coast is now open through Three Arch Bay. Northbound Coast will not be opened until after midnight.

10:26 UPDATE: Eyewitness Kim Lippincott reports that she was leaving Three Arch Bay but was stopped because of the chaos. From overhearing the negotiations between the man and the officers, she says that his name is Edward, he either is or was in the Navy, and has a wife. He told officers he was trying to start his car, but remained silent for much of the rest of the standoff. He never said anything, but his lips moved as if he were trying to speak. At one point, officers asked if he was hearing voices, and apparently he had missed his medication. A robot broke his car window and tear gas was fired into the car, but the man remained inside. Another round of gas was fired, and the man eventually exited, dressed in sweats, and screaming "like a wounded woman." He was driven away in a Laguna Beach Police cruiser.

10:04 P.M. UPDATE from the LBPD: The subject is in police custody at this time. No one was injured. The bomb squad cleared the car and no explosives were found. The roadway will remain closed for further investigation.

9:59 P.M. UPDATE: Patch reader Skip Hellowell says that officers fired teargas bombs inside the car, but the man inside still refuses to come out.

9:32 P.M. UPDATE: From the Laguna Beach Police Department ...

On February, 6, 2013 at approximately 5:20 pm, the Laguna Beach Police Department Communications Center received 911 calls of a traffic accident possibly involving five vehicles, in the area of Coast Highway and Vista Del Sol.  One of the 911 callers advised that as he went to check on the driver of a Mustang, he saw a possible handgun near the driver.  As officers and fire department personnel were arriving on scene, dispatchers advised them of the possible firearm in the Mustang.  Officers approached the Mustang with guns drawn and were able to verify that the driver had a gun in his lap.

Officers moved to a safer distance and evacuated persons in the immediate area.  They began ordering the male driver out of the car to which he told them, if the door is pulled open the car would explode.

Coast Hwy between Vista Del Sol and 7th Avenue was shut down to all traffic and a perimeter was established. 

As of 9 pm, the subject is still inside his vehicle and officers of the Laguna Beach Police Department and an Orange County Sheriff’s Department SWAT team are handling this standoff.

The subject is a 42 year old, male Hispanic from Los Angeles County.

There have been no injuries reported at this time.  The traffic accident will be investigated once this situation is concluded.

Coast Hwy will remain closed in both directions until further notice.

UPDATE, 9:14 PM: Laguna Beach Police say that Coast Highway is likely to be closed until midnight.

ORIGINAL POST: Reports are coming from South Laguna of a five-car accident and at least one shot fired.

Coast Highway remains closed in both directions between 7th Ave and Vista del Sol until further notice, according to Laguna Beach Police. Orange County Sherrif's Department and SWAT officers are also on the scene.

KFI is reporting that a suspect is in a Mustang, and it's a standoff situation. Several helicopters in the air, and some witnesses report that the shot was fired by police.

Northbound traffic is being diverted at Crown Valley Parkway. Southbound traffic being turned at Mission Hospital. Laguna Canyon Road is also jammed.

Patch will be updating the situation as events develop ....


T. Merz February 07, 2013 at 11:15 AM
Good to know the Laguna police did not kill the guy. Sounds like he needs psychiatric help.
dan baker February 07, 2013 at 04:24 PM
strange situation last night. i applaud LBPD for thier patience in bringing an end to a dangerous event without loss of life.
Rich Kane February 07, 2013 at 08:53 PM
We've got an update, including the name of the man at the center of it all, at this link: http://patch.com/A-1JCT
gilbert February 08, 2013 at 12:26 AM
Just when you think it's safe to go outside...
gilbert February 08, 2013 at 02:55 AM
Oh! I forgot to mention, if people in Laguna Beach continue to hire Mexicans, men or women, their culture will be a part of Laguna. So, hang on to your chones, or your calzones!


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