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Victorville man, 35, arrested for pointing laser at sheriff’s helicopter

VICTORVILLE, Calif, (VVNG.com) — A 35-year-old Victorville man was arrested after he allegedly pointed a green laser at a sheriff’s helicopter crew, officials said.

It happened February 9th, at about 11:00 pm, when the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s helicopter 40K1 was assisting Victorville deputies on a suspicious person call near the dealerships on Civic Drive.

“While orbiting the area the crew was repeatedly struck on the windscreen by a green laser from the residential area north of their location,” officials said in a news release.

Due to the hazards of laser strikes to the crew of any aircraft, 40K1 began efforts to locate the suspect(s). The crew flew to the area where the laser was coming from and were struck a fourth time, at which point the crew was able to identify the residence.

40K1 requested assistance from Victorville deputies who immediately responded to the area. The deputies who responded contacted eight subjects at the residence and were able to identify the suspect, Guillermo Castillos. Deputies at the scene conducted a thorough investigation and recovered the green laser on Castillos’ person. Castillo was subsequently arrested and booked for PC 247.5 Pointing a Laser at an Aircraft.

Sudden exposure to laser radiation during a critical phase of flight, such as on approach to landing or departure, can distract or disorient a pilot and cause temporary visual impairment. FAA studies have shown the adverse visual effects from laser exposure are especially debilitating when the eyes are adapted to the low-light level of a cockpit at night. Similar to a camera flash at close proximity or the high-beam headlights of an oncoming car, recovering optimal visual performance after exposure to laser light may take from a few seconds to several minutes.
A federal law passed in 2012 made lasing aircraft punishable by up to five years in prison. The Bureau will offer up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any individual who intentionally aims a laser at an aircraft.

 

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