A freelance reporter working for People magazine (search) was given a citation for allegedly trespassing on oceanfront property owned by Brad Pitt (search), the Sheriff's Department reported.

Jeffrey Weiss (search), 23, of Beverly Hills was cited Saturday after being spotted on the property near El Capitan State Park, said Sgt. Erik Raney of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department. The property belongs to Pitt, the actor's publicist, Cindy Guagenti, confirmed Wednesday.

Weiss was carrying a pair of binoculars as he stood on a bluff overlooking the area, Raney said. The bluff was not fenced but had a "no trespassing" sign.

People spokeswoman Nancy Valentino said Weiss inadvertently trespassed.

"He regrets it. This is not the way we do business at People," Valentino said.

Raney said Weiss had an e-mail from a People employee in his car.

"The correspondence gave him directions to the property and directed him to see what he could see — lights, trucks, parties — and report back," Raney said.

Weiss, who was cited and released, was ordered to appear in Santa Barbara Superior Court on Sept. 8.