Azusa man accused of shining laser at police helicopter

AZUSA — Police arrested an Azusa man late Thursday for repeatedly pointing a laser at a police helicopter, authorities said.
Thomas Brandley, 20, was booked on suspicion of discharging a laser at an aircraft, Azusa police Sgt. Xavier Torres said in a written statement.
A police helicopter was helping Azusa police with an unrelated call when someone began shining a laser at the aircraft, the sergeant said.
The officers on board maneuvered away from the beam and ordered the person via loudspeaker to stop shining the laser, he said. But the person continued.
The airborne officers were able to determine the beam originated in the 1300 block of Tom O Shanter Avenue, Torres said. Officers on the ground located and arrested Brandley, and also recovered a laser from inside the home where he was found.
The officers on the helicopter were unharmed, police said, however shining a laser at an aircraft creates a hazard as it can temporarily blind pilots, endangering both those on the aircraft and those on the ground.
In addition to being a violation of California law, legislation passed in 2012 makes it a federal offense to shine a laser at an aircraft. Two people have been prosecuted under the federal statute.

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