Laguna Beach police have identified a man they believe is responsible for dumping used adult diapers along Coast Highway after stopping him at the Crystal Cove shopping center Tuesday night.
“We did get a big break last evening,” said Capt. Jason Kravetz of the Laguna Beach Police Department.
Detectives had been staking out South Coast Highway, he said, and at about 10:40 Monday night they located a bag with dirty diapers inside that had not been hit by cars and destroyed. Inside that bag, one of the diapers had an envelope attached. The letter had no return address but did include an address to a medical office in Fullerton, Kravetz said.
Police spent Tuesday investigating the medical office and discovered that a person associated with the office lived in Newport Coast, Kravetz said.
“We went to the person’s house and watched it,” he said. There, police saw one resident in a wheelchair.
Finally, at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday, a man left the house in a Lexus, and police followed him to Coast Highway. At Irvine Cove, Kravetz said, the man made a U-turn and headed back northbound.
Police pulled the man over.
“He had a whole bunch of dirty diapers in the bag in the passenger seat,” Kravetz said.
Police questioned the man but didn’t arrest him because no one had witnessed a crime, and because illegal dumping is a misdemeanor, a witness is required for an arrest, Kravetz said.
The man cooperated with police, Kravetz said.
“He gave us some pretty detailed information,” he said. “Obviously he had the diapers next to him in the car.”
The man’s name was not released, but Kravetz said he was 67 years old and a Newport Coast resident.
Laguna Beach are now working with Newport Beach police to prepare a case to send to the Orange County District Attorney’s office for possible charges of violating Health and Safety Code 117555, Kravetz said.
The diapers began appearing in Laguna Beach in May with at least 30 incidents, Kravetz said.
A Corona del Mar woman said she had seen the dirty diapers on East Coast Highway near Cameo Highlands in the summer of 2011. Two incidents were reported in December 2011, another in January, and again in May. This month, there were three incidents of dirty diapers dumped on Coast Highway as well as along MacArthur Boulevard, including an incident on Sept. 20.
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