A man in Laguna Beach, California was arrested on Tuesday, Nov. 27 after he allegedly made criminal threats towards one of his customers over a business dispute. Mitchell Todd, 51, is being accused of sending threatening text messages and a voicemail in which the release of the slide of a handgun was apparently heard. The man was handcuffed at his Huntington Beach home after making several threats to a father who hired Todd to release white doves at his son’s funeral.
Laguna Beach police Sgt. Jim Cota told KTLA that the suspect and the victim exchanged words after Todd claimed the man owed him money although the release of doves didn’t happen at the funeral. The victim alerted authorities during mid-November about the threats he’d been receiving from Todd. Police said they initially overlooked the quarrel between the two until they heard the disturbing voicemails. ” One of the messages was, ‘Maybe you need to be where your son’s at,'” Cota said.
Laguna Beach cops searched the suspect’s home on Tuesday night and seized more than 55 firearms and numerous rounds of ammunition. 12 of those guns reportedly belonged to Todd. Authorities also found flags bearing the Nazi swastika, a Confederate flag and a photo of Adolf Hitler. “Who knows what his motive was,” Cota told ABC News. “In our minds, we can think that hopefully we stopped something potentially big from happening.
But I can’t give you anything concrete on if he was planning on doing something.” Police said they’re currently looking into whether or not Todd is affiliated with any hate groups. They’re also investigating who the 40 plus guns belong to that were in the suspect’s possession. Todd who owns “Orange County White Dove Release”, a business releasing doves at several celebrations,
told the Los Angeles Times during a 2016 interview that raising birds was like being a “smoker or alcoholic.” Sgt. Cota told the news station, “It was a business deal and the business deal didn’t end up the way that he [Todd] wanted and so it started with text messages, voicemails and then it just went from normal talk to the extreme of starting to get into violence.”