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Teen arrested for pointing laser at San Bernardino Sheriff's helicopter

A 19-year-old woman is facing charges after pointing a laser beam at a San Bernardino County Sheriff's patrol helicopter.
March 4, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
A 19-year-old woman is facing charges after pointing a high-powered laser beam at a San Bernardino County Sheriff's patrol helicopter pilot and co-pilot on Feb. 27.

The incident occurred as the helicopter was flying over the 15 Freeway in Hesperia around 10:50 p.m.

Deputies say the female suspect, identified as Jenny Gutierrez, was caught red-handed with the laser after the pilot reported the incident and directed deputies to the suspect's location.

Gutierrez was subsequently booked at the High Desert Detentioin Center for pointing a laser at an aircraft.

San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Daniel Futscher said pointing lasers can be dangerous to the flight crews because lasers can cause sight impairment.

"While somebody might think that pointing a laser at an aircraft would just be inconsequential, the reality is that it can damage the eyes of the pilot or the crew - not just temporarily blind them in this case we're discussing, but actually create lasting damage," said Futscher.

Laser strikes on aircrafts have increased all across the country this year, prompting a crackdown in incidents with heavy penalties and fines.

If convicted, Gutierrez could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Anyone who witnesses someone pointing a laser at an aircraft was urged to contact 911 immediately.


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