Man Arrested After Death of Patron at Newport Restaurant

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Newport Beach Police Detectives took Sean Robert McLaughlin, 42, into custody at his home in Aliso Viejo on Friday night and booked him at the Newport Beach Police Department Jail for Involuntary Manslaughter surrounding the death of a patron at a business in the 2400 block of Newport Blvd. on the Balboa Peninsula (identified by numerous news media as American Junkie Restaurant and Bar).

The arrest comes after four adult males were transported to local hospitals after suffering medical distress at the restaurant early Friday morning.

Newport Beach Fire Department responded to a medical aid call at 1:05 a.m. Upon their arrival to the restaurant, Fire Department staff discovered four adult males in medical distress, at which point they began operating under Multi-Casualty Incident protocols and requested assistance from the Newport Beach Police Department.

Police Department staff responded to the scene to assist and to initiate an investigation into the incident. Further investigation by Newport Beach Police Detectives revealed that the four males had ingested an unknown narcotic which caused this medical emergency.

Three of the victims have been treated and released from the hospital. The fourth victim succumbed to his injuries caused by the ingestion of the unknown narcotic and passed away.

During their investigation, Newport Beach Police Department Detectives discovered that the four males had obtained this unknown narcotic from McLaughlin, an employee at American Junkie.

Newport Beach Police Detectives have served search warrants at McLaughlin’s home and at American Junkie, and are currently searching for further evidence related to this incident.

This is still an on-going investigation, and anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Rick Henry at 949-644-3797 or [email protected].

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