Ex-Laguna Beach police officer charged after allegedly holding gun to fellow officer’s head

Local news

A former Laguna Beach police officer has been charged with pulling out a gun and holding it to the back of his fellow officer’s head after a night of drinking last year, officials announced Monday.

Luke Christian Gilbertson, 35, pleaded not guilty to a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon and a felony enhancement of using a firearm during the commission of felony, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

The charges stem from an incident on Sept. 23, 2019, when Gilbertson and three other Laguna Beach police officers and a dispatcher were at a pool party and BBQ and then went to two other locations to drink.

The group was in one vehicle on the way back from a Santa Ana bar when Gilbertson allegedly pulled out a handgun from his holster and held it to the head of one of the other officers, officials said.

It is unclear what prompted the incident, but no one was injured.

“Gilbertson is no longer a member of the Laguna Beach Police Department,” OCDA officials said in a news release without elaborating.

“It is unacceptable for an officer of the law to behave in a way that so blatantly disregards the well-being of another human,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the release. “No one is above the law, especially a police officer who was entrusted to protect the innocent.”

Gilbertson faces a maximum sentence of 19 years in prison if convicted as charged. He has been released on $50,000 bail, officials said.

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