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San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

Press Release



DATE/TIME:          February 27, 2014/10:50 p.m.

 

INCIDENT:            Pointing Laser at Aircraft

 

LOCATION:           Interstate 15/Joshua/Hwy 395, Hesperia

 

VICTIM:                 Two San Bernardino County Sheriff's Deputies

 

SUSPECT:            Jenny Gutierrez, age 19



Summary

On Thursday, February 27, 2014, at approximately 10:50p.m., a San Bernardino County Sheriff's patrol helicopter was targeted with a high powered laser beam.  The helicopter was flying over the 15 freeway in Hesperia patrolling the High Desert when it was struck multiple times.  The laser was being pointed from a moving vehicle traveling along the northbound 15 freeway.    Both the pilot and flight officer were temporarily blinded by the laser beam.  The helicopter crew was able to follow the vehicle and direct Hesperia Deputies to their location.  Deputies quickly identified a female passenger in the vehicle as being involved with the incident.  They also located the green laser which was used to target the helicopter.  Jenny Gutierrez was arrested and booked into the High Desert Detention Center under Penal Code Section 247.5 Pointing a laser at Aircraft.  

 

Laser strikes have increased this year across the country.   These devices have been pointed at planes, airliners and helicopters from miles away. The light is often diffused by the plane's windshield and can temporarily blind pilots.

 

The Federal Aviation Administration announced in 2011 that it would impose civil penalties up to $11,000 for pointing a laser at an aircraft.  In 2012 the FBI announced the ability to bring criminal charges for pointing a laser at an aircraft , with penalties of up to 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

 

If anyone has information about a laser strike or witness someone pointing a laser at an aircraft immediately call 911.

 

Refer:          Public Affairs Division

Phone No.:  (909) 387-3700

 



John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner

San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

Sheriff’s Public Affairs Division

655 E. Third Street

San Bernardino, California 92415-0061

Telephone: (909) 387-3700



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