Deputies from the were dispatched to a residence in 4S Ranch Tuesday night after a sheriff’s helicopter crew reported that a laser light was pointed at them as they flew overhead.
A 22-year-old male was contacted and briefly detained by deputies, and information was submitted to the district attorney’s office Wednesday morning for review and possible felony charges, according to sheriff’s Lt. Todd Richardson.
A laser light was recovered from the suspect, who was not arrested, Richardson said.
The helicopter was flying over 4S Ranch around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when the crew observed a male pointing the laser device at them. A laser strike can cause serious injuries to the pilots and result in a crash.
The pilots directed deputies to a residence in the 16000 block of Dove Canyon Road, who confirmed the location from a balcony, according to Richardson. Deputies contacted a male suspect that matched the description from the pilots.
The suspect’s identity was not released.
Richardson said that in the past year and a half the sheriff’s ASTREA helicopter fleet has had about six cases of lasers being pointed at pilots, and charges were filed on each case.
“It’s a very dangerous and high-profile-type incident, and it can cause serious, permanent injury to our pilots aside from the potential of crashing the airship,” Richardson said. “It’s essentially an assault on an officer. It’s the same as if you shot at one of us.”