Attorney Accused in Laguna Hills House Fire Due in Court on Prior DUI

LAGUNA HILLS (CNS) - The suspect accused of setting his own Laguna Hills home ablaze when deputies responded there regarding a neighbor dispute is scheduled to appear in the jail courtroom today on a pending drunk-driving case that dates back to September 2019, according to court records.

Meanwhile, Richard Edward Quintilone II, 47, an employment-law attorney, is being held on $1.7 million bail in the arson case.

Quintilone was also convicted of domestic violence in January 2006, but the misdemeanor charge was eventually dismissed in 2009 as part of a state law that allows for the expunging of convictions if a defendant clears probation, according to court records.

According to the state bar, which placed the attorney on probation in 2007, on May 14, 2005, Quintilone and his wife “returned to their home after having spent the evening at a party with friends. Both (Quintilone) and his wife had been drinking at the party. Thereafter, (Quintilone), in his inebriated state, physically assaulted his wife.''

The attorney claimed that “the violence started as a result of sexual foreplay, which was rougher than usual and then grew out of control,'' according to the state bar. “Ultimately, (Quintilone's) wife ran to a neighbor's house and the police were called.''

In the arson case, deputies were called at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to 27716 Greenfield Drive for a dispute, said Jaimee Blashaw, public affairs manager for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Sheriff's officials said Quintilone was accused of throwing a boat propeller through the windshield of a vehicle in the neighborhood.

When deputies tried to talk to Quintilone, he ran back into the house, and deputies saw the flames, sheriff's officials said.

Quintilone refused to come out, prompting deputies to go into the house and try to find him, but they could not, deputies said.

Deputies evacuated neighbors from their homes.

Orange County Fire Authority firefighters were in a “defensive posture,'' having to pour water on the flaming house from a distance while deputies suspected Quintilone was barricaded in the home, said Gail Krause, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's department.

Firefighters managed to put the fire out and keep it from spreading, Krause said. The fire caused significant damage to the house.

Quintilone was booked on suspicion of arson, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department.

Neighbors alerted deputies to the suspect's whereabouts on a nearby street about 12:20 p.m. and he was arrested without incident, Krause said.

Photo: Getty Images

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