Advertisement

Laser pointed at Edmonton police Air 1 helicopter leads to assault charges

A man was charged after a laser was pointed up at an Edmonton Police Service helicopter in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 26, 2019. .
A man was charged after a laser was pointed up at an Edmonton Police Service helicopter in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 26, 2019. . Edmonton Police Service

An Edmonton man is facing several charges, including assault with a weapon, after a laser was pointed up at a police helicopter this past weekend.

On Saturday at around 2:15 a.m., Edmonton police said Air 1 was flying over the north side when the aircraft was struck several times by a blue laser.

READ MORE: Stronger, faster Air 1 helicopter unveiled by Edmonton Police Service

Shortly after the incident happened, the EPS Air 1 unit tweeted that being hit with a laser is “like having a flashlight at point blank range at our altitude,” adding that lasers can do far more damage.

A man was charged after a laser was pointed up at an Edmonton Police Service helicopter in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 26, 2019.
A man was charged after a laser was pointed up at an Edmonton Police Service helicopter in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 26, 2019. Edmonton Police Service

Story continues below advertisement

Photos supplied by police showed the strength of the laser.

“As you can see in the images taken by Air 1, the laser can be quite blinding to the human eye and could impose serious safety risks to our members operating the aircraft,” EPS Flight Operations Unit Sgt. James Pennie said in a statement.

Edmonton police speak to media when a man was charged after pointing a laser at EPS Air 1 helicopter. Oct. 30, 2019.
Edmonton police speak to media when a man was charged after pointing a laser at EPS Air 1 helicopter. Oct. 30, 2019. Morris Gamblin, Global News

READ MORE: Edmonton’s police helicopter a noisy necessity above some communities

“Pointing a laser or any other projected light at any aircraft could result in criminal charges and/or penalties under the Canadian Aviation Regulations,” he said.

Police said the pilot was able to track the origin of the laser and patrol offices on the ground found and arrested a suspect.

READ MORE: 2 men arrested with help of Air 1 after Edmonton water treatment plant spray-painted

Christopher Horon, 41, was charged with assault with a weapon, mischief and two counts of breaching probation.

Story continues below advertisement
A man was charged after a laser was pointed up at an Edmonton Police Service helicopter in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 26, 2019.
A man was charged after a laser was pointed up at an Edmonton Police Service helicopter in the early morning hours of Saturday, October 26, 2019. Edmonton Police Service