SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 22-year-old 4S Ranch man faces possible felony charges for allegedly endangering a law enforcement helicopter crew by shining a laser at the aircraft as it flew above his home late at night, a sheriff's official reported Wednesday.
The two deputies were patrolling over the neighborhood near Rancho Bernardo when the intense light began flashing on and around the chopper about 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Lt. Todd Richardson said.
Fortunately, the laser beam did not directly hit the windows of the helicopter, according to Richardson.
"This type of incident can fully incapacitate an aircraft flight crew, causing permanent injury to the pilots and loss of control of the aircraft," he said.
The deputies notified the Poway Sheriff's Station, which sent patrol cars to the location from which the laser had emanated.
The sheriff's flight crew directed the ground units to a home in the 16000 block of Dove Canyon Road, where they contacted a man who matched the description of the person the airborne deputies had seen shining the light into the air.
Deputies questioned the man and forwarded their findings this morning to the District Attorney's Office, which will likely file criminal charges in the case, Richardson said.
The lieutenant declined to release the name of the suspect because he had not yet been arrested.
Shining lasers at aircraft is a highly hazardous act that has caused air crashes and ended the flying careers of pilots due to eye damage, according to Richardson. The crime has become increasingly common in recent years, he said.
"It's an epidemic across the country. ... I don't think (perpetrators) appreciate the severity of how dangerous it is," the lieutenant said. "It's no different than if you shoot at us. It's that serious."
Students and community members in San Diego County plan to march for gun control today as part of the nationwide "March for Our Lives."
After two mistrials, a judge Friday dismissed felony DUI and hit-and-run charges against an oft-deported Mexican citizen accused of causing a crash in San Ysidro that seriously injured a 6-year-old boy returning home after a day at Disneyland with his family.
Students and community members in San Diego County plan to march for gun control this weekend as part of a nationwide "March for Our Lives."
A stabbing outside a Costco store in Carlsbad Friday left one person seriously injured and an acquaintance of the victim's in custody on suspicion of attempted murder.
Congress gave President Donald Trump the $1.6 billion he wanted this year for his proposed "big, beautiful" border wall with Mexico but the headline number masks what he didn't get on one of his signature campaign promises.
Annual data from San Diego county medical services show an alarming number of local underage drinking deaths.
A man accused of killing his girlfriend -- a mother of two -- in the apartment they shared in the Mountain View neighborhood of San Diego must stand trial on murder and misdemeanor child endangerment charges, a judge ruled Friday.
The San Diego County unemployment rate dropped by a tenth of a percent to 3.5 percent in February amid "better-than-average" growth, according to data released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.