SAN DIEGO (CNS) - An 18-year-old man accused of pointing a laser at the cockpit of a San Diego police helicopter pleaded not guilty Thursday to a felony charge.
Jose Gallardo Rincon was ordered held on $25,000 bail. He faces up to three years in prison if convicted of discharging a laser at an occupied aircraft.
Deputy District Attorney Robert Eacret told Judge David Szumowski that Rincon pointed a green laser at the police helicopter on Monday night, shining it into the aircraft's cockpit several times.
Police were able to identify the window of an apartment where the laser was coming from and arrested Rincon, who admitted pointing the laser at the helicopter and even turned over the laser to police, the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Salvatore Tarantino unsuccessfully argued that Rincon be released on his own recognizance, telling the judge that the defendant was not a flight risk or a danger to the community.
Szumowski set a bail review for Tuesday, a readiness conference for July 25 and a preliminary hearing for July 27.