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Ex-Laguna Beach officer charged with holding gun to head of another officer

A former Laguna Beach police officer is facing a criminal charge after authorities accused him of holding a gun to the head of another officer during a night out drinking.

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

Prosecutors say that Gilbertson, on Sept. 3, was at a pool party and barbecue with three other Laguna Beach officers and a police dispatcher then went with the group to “two other locations to drink alcohol.”

While on the way home from a Santa Ana bar, prosecutors allege, Gilbertson pulled a handgun from his holster and held it to the back of the head of another off-duty officer in the vehicle.

It isn’t clear why Gilbertson is believed to have pulled his weapon out or pointed it at the other officer. According to the DA’s office, no one was injured.

Gilbertson is no longer employed by the Laguna Beach Police Department, according to the DA’s statement. Laguna Beach police officials could not be immediately reached Monday regarding their response to the criminal charge or the reason for Gilbertson’s departure from the department.

“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 a statement. “No one is above the law, especially a police officer who was entrusted to protect the innocent.”

According to a previous OC Register article, Gilbertson in 2013 was recognized by the local chapter of the Mothers Against Drunk Driving for his high number of arrests of people suspected of driving under the influence.

Gilbertson was out of custody on $50,000 bail. If convicted, he faces up to 19 years in state prison.

Source: Orange County Register

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