A 42-year-old Huntington Beach man is expected to make his first appearance in federal court Thursday on charges of pointing a laser at a Huntington Beach police helicopter pilot in July.

Brett Wayne Parkins was arrested Wednesday at his home following his indictment by a federal grand jury, according to the FBI. Parkins was originally charged in state court, but the Orange County District Attorney’s Office dropped charges Oct. 5.

Parkins is accused of pointing the laser at the helicopter pilot just before 8:45 p.m. July 25, police said.

When the incident occurred, the pilot managed to triangulate the location of the laser and saw a suspect retreat to his apartment, police said. When police searched the apartment they “found a green, high-powered laser,” police said.

Lasers are dangerous to point at aircraft because it can blind the pilot and cause a crash.

Another Orange County man was also facing charges of pointing a laser at a police helicopter. Eric Jayson Suarez, 47, of Santa Ana, was arrested Oct. 13, but agreed to plead guilty Oct. 26. He is accused of pointing a laser at an Orange County Sheriff’s Department pilot on April 13, the FBI said.

Suarez is scheduled to plead guilty Nov. 22 in a federal courtroom in Los Angeles on Nov. 22.

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