San Gabriel man suspected of shining laser at police helicopter, drug possession

SAN GABRIEL — Police jailed a San Gabriel man on suspicion of shining a laser at a Pasadena police helicopter and possession of cocaine after striking a helicopter crew member in the eye with a laser beam, causing him to be hospitalized for evaluation, police said Friday
Rafael Juarez, 23, was booked on suspicion of discharging a laser at an aircraft and possession of a controlled substance following Thursday’s 9:30 a.m. incident, Pasadena police officials said in a written statement.
“A Pasadena police officer was injured by a laser struck while flying over the City of San Gabriel,” the statement said. “The helicopter crew was not wearing their protective eyewear at the time of the attack; however, they identified the suspect’s location and worked with San Gabriel police ground units to contain the area.”
Officers found and arrested Juarez without a struggle near San Gabriel Boulevard and Broadway, police said.
The officer was not seriously injured, police said.
According to county booking records, he was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail and was due for arraignment Tuesday in Alhambra Superior Court.
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