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Man charged after laser pointed at HAWCS helicopter

CALGARY – Police have laid charges against a 19-year-old man after he allegedly pointed a laser at the HAWCS helicopter, early Thursday morning.

It happened in the northwest community of Dalhousie around 1:30 a.m.

HAWCS was doing a routine patrol of the area, when it’s alleged the man pointed a green laser at the pilots.

Police say this could have led to dangerous consequences, potentially blinding the pilots and leading to a crash.

Police have charged 19-year-old Michael Sanche with assault causing bodily harm, mischief causing danger to life and common nuisance endangering life.

Sanche is also charged with projection of a directed, bright-light source at an aircraft under the Canadian Aviation Regulations Aeronautic Act.

It’s not the first time something like this has happened in Calgary.

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In 2011, two flights approaching the Calgary International Airport were hit by a laser beam, and one man was arrested after a green laser was pointed at a police helicopter responding to a disturbance call.