kpix-7-2013-masthead kcbs 7-2013-masthead

Local

Man Indicted On Charge Of Shining Laser At CHP Helicopter

View Comments
A person shined a laser pointer at Chopper 5 while covering a fire in East Palo Alto on February 14, 2011. (CBS)

A person shined a laser pointer at Chopper 5 while covering a fire in East Palo Alto on February 14, 2011. (CBS)

Get Breaking News First

Receive News, Politics, and Entertainment Headlines Each Morning.
Sign Up
Trending Stories On CBS SF

jung Man Indicted On Charge Of Shining Laser At CHP HelicopterNotorious Ex-Cocaine Kingpin George Jung Out of Prison, Living In San Francisco

taco bell 72763825 Man Indicted On Charge Of Shining Laser At CHP HelicopterHigh School Brawls Force Antioch Taco Bell To Close Dining Room In Afternoon

455497972 8 Man Indicted On Charge Of Shining Laser At CHP HelicopterMexico Tourists, Locals In Survival Mode After Los Cabos Hurricane; No Power, Water, Food

lake tahoe2 Man Indicted On Charge Of Shining Laser At CHP HelicopterIronman Organizers Say Triathlon In Lake Tahoe Still A Go Despite King Fire

hurricane odile Man Indicted On Charge Of Shining Laser At CHP HelicopterHurricane Odile Slams Into Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula Near Cabo San Lucas

OAKLAND (CBS SF) — An 18-year-old Oakland man was due to be arraigned in federal court on Sept. 5 on a charge of shining a laser pointer at an airborne California Highway Patrol helicopter in June.

Christian Palomino was indicted by a U.S. grand jury Thursday on one count of violating a federal law that makes it a crime to knowingly aim a laser at an aircraft.

The indictment replaces an Aug. 11 criminal complaint containing the same charge. The grand jury action makes it unnecessary to hold a preliminary hearing on the charge.

Palomino, who is free on a $10,000 bond, will be arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Donna Ryu in Oakland at 9:30 a.m. Sept. 5.

The complaint alleges that while a CHP helicopter was responding to an incident near the intersection of Bancroft and Seminary avenues in Oakland at 11:10 p.m. on June 7, the helicopter’s flight officer noticed two bright green flashes coming from the ground below.

The flight officer used the helicopter camera to identify two suspects as the possible source and enlisted CHP officers in a patrol car to pursue them. The officers allegedly found a green laser pen in Palomino’s pocket, according to the complaint.

Knowingly pointing a laser at an aircraft was made into a specific federal crime in 2012 in response to a growing number of such incidents, in which pilots can be distracted or temporarily blinded. The crime carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison upon conviction.

Palomino’s bond carries a condition of a 6 p.m. curfew.  He was released into the custody of his mother in Oakland.

View Comments
blog comments powered by Disqus
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 53,930 other followers