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Charges laid in connection with laser strikes on police helicopters in York Region

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Charges laid in connection with laser strikes on police helicopters
WATCH ABOVE: York Regional Police say they laid numerous charges in connection with laser strikes on police helicopters – May 27, 2020

York Regional Police say they have laid multiple charges in connection with two incidents of laser strikes hitting police helicopters.

Investigators are looking into a third incident, as well. Police released video of the two incidents in question.

On Thursday, a helicopter was flying over the area of Islington Avenue and Rutherford Road in Vaughan when the pilot and tactical officer on board were “struck by a bright light source,” police said.

The crew was then able to direct officers on the ground to the location of a home on Ronan Crescent.

READ MORE: Ornge pilot, paramedic suffer eye injuries after laser pointed at helicopter mid-flight in Toronto

A 44-year-old man was charged with mischief endangering life, endangering the security of an aircraft in flight and unlawfully projecting a bright light into navigable airspace.

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On Friday, at around 11:55 p.m., a helicopter was in the area of Birchmount Road and Enterprise Bouleveard in Markham assisting investigators on a break and enter when they were hit by a laser multiple times.

Officers on the ground were led to a suspect on a balcony of a hotel on Birchmount Road.

A 52-year-old man was charged with mischief endangering life, endangering the security of an aircraft in flight, unlawfully projecting bright light into navigable airspace and obstructing police.

In a third incident on Saturday, another helicopter was hit at around 11:30 p.m. while on general patrol in the area of Bathurst Street and Jefferson Sideroad in Richmond Hill.

Investigators are still searching for the suspect involved in that incident.

READ MORE: Police issue warning after lasers pointed at planes near Toronto Pearson Airport

“Health Canada warns that a split-second look into a laser pointer can result in a condition called flash blindness,” a press release from York police on Wednesday read. “This is similar to the effect you get during flash photography, where the image of the flash remains in your eyes for a few seconds, then fades away.

“However, for a pilot in control of an aircraft flying over populated areas, the consequences can be very serious.”

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Anyone with information on the unresolved incident is asked to contact the York Regional Police at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7241 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

 

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