LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Four people have been arrested on suspicion of pointing lasers at Los Angeles County sheriff’s helicopters, the Sheriff’s Department announced Sunday.

“In the past seven months, helicopter pilots and Aero Bureau aircraft from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department had lasers pointed at them six times while in flight,” said Captain Mike Parker of the Sheriff’s Headquarters Bureau.

A 16-year-old boy from Los Alamitos was arrested for allegedly pointing a laser at a sheriff’s helicopter in the Pico Rivera sheriff’s station area Tuesday, he said.

Also arrested recently were a 15-year-old Pico Rivera boy for an incident in the Pico Rivera sheriff’s station area Dec. 20 and two 25-year-old men — Antonio Chavez of La Puente and Julio Pineda of Maywood — for similar crimes occurring on Dec. 11 and Sept. 22.

Parker said pointing a laser at an aircraft is a felony punishable by up to three years in state prison and a $2,000 fine. The crime can also be a federal offense punishable by 20 years in federal prison.

“When the laser hits the Plexiglas windshield it refracts the light and fills the cockpit with laser light, causing disorientation or temporary blindness. It has caused long-term damage to some pilots,” Sgt. Morrie Zager, a helicopter pilot assigned to the sheriff’s Aero Bureau, said in a statement.

“This is a serious matter. The pilot’s disorientation could cause loss of control of the aircraft.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

Comments (6)
  1. Rick says:

    As always, thank you for what you bring to society.

  2. drozone69 says:

    Yes they come here for the jobs no one wants!!

  3. ILLEGALS says:

    Minors, probably get probation if no prior.

  4. Dan the Fisherman says:

    The 15 and 16 year olds’ parents should also be held accountable for their childs’ actions

  5. goeatsomthindan says:

    Dan the fisherman. I got a link for your comment. http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2011/04/29/grandma-91-sells-suicide-kits-to-allow-elderly-to-die-with-dignity/

    its not the parents fault. its not like parents can even beat thier kids anymore.

    1. mister s says:

      Yup, can’t blame the parents for teens behavior too much anymore, the government has taken away the rights of parents to punish their kids and discpline them properly. There has been enough news coverage of problems with laser pointers and aircraft for all involved to have known better. I hope they give all 4 the maximum penalty as they obviously have nothing more on their minds than being menaces to the rest of society.

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