Suspect Shines Laser at Sheriff's Chopper

Similar incident happened in National City and 4S Ranch this past September and August, respectively

By Monica Garske
|  Friday, Nov 2, 2012  |  Updated 10:48 PM PDT
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Suspect Shines Laser at Sheriff's Chopper

Will Topete

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Authorities are searching for a suspect who was allegedly shining a green laser at the sheriff’s helicopter ASTREA Friday night.

Officials said the laser strike happened around 9:45 p.m., as ASTREA was flying near Connecticut Street and Holly Avenue in Imperial Beach.

Officials immediately began scouring the area for the suspect.

Back in September, a National City resident was arrested for allegedly shining a green laser at two commercial airliners and a police helicopter. The two commercial airliners were struck by the laser near a final approach beacon at Euclid Avenue and Imperial Avenue.

About 30 minutes later, the San Diego Police Department’s ABLE helicopter was struck by the laser near East 4th Avenue. According to police, the laser strike illuminated the cockpit and the crew was forced to protect themselves.

In that September laser strike, the pilot and an observer were able to pinpoint the source of the laser strike to a small group of people seated in front of a house in the 500 block of South T Avenue. Officers arrested suspect Anthony Sheperd, who was in possession of a green laser and later admitted to shining the laser at the police helicopter.

In August, deputies detained a man in 4S Ranch who was allegedly responsible for shining a laser at the crew inside the sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter.

The pilots in that incident saw the laser strike coming from a home in the 16000 block fo Dove Canyon Road.

Lasers have the ability to permanently injure pilots, and can potentially cause loss of control of the helicopter.
 

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