A 35-year-old man was arrested Thursday on a federal charge of pointing a laser at an Orange County Sheriff’s Department helicopter on patrol in Santa Ana.
Mario Deleon Lopez, 35, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Feb. 24 for allegedly aiming the laser pointer at the helicopter the evening of Nov. 14.
Pilots told investigators that a green laser illuminated the helicopter’s cockpit, and deputies and Santa Ana police traced it back to Lopez, federal prosecutors allege.
Authorities say a laser poses a serious risk to pilots as it can blind or distract them.
— Wire reports
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