Charges laid after three incidents of laser strikes on York Regional Police helicopter
Kerrisa Wilson, CP24.com
Published Wednesday, May 27, 2020 11:45AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, May 27, 2020 12:27PM EDT
York Regional Police have laid charges in two separate incidents and are investigating a third after a police helicopter was struck by multiple laser pointers.
On May 21, around 11:25 p.m., police say Air2 was on a general patrol over the area of Rutherford Rd. and Islington Ave., in Vaughan, when it was struck by a bright light.
The crew was able to direct officers to the location of the suspect outside of a residence on Ronan Cr.
A 44-year-old man from Vaughan was arrested and charged with mischief endangering life, endangering security of an aircraft in flight and unlawfully projecting bright light into navigable airspace.
Following this incident, police say Air2 was struck by a laser again on May 22 in Markham. Just before midnight, the helicopter was in the area of Birchmount Rd. and Enterprise Blvd. assisting on a break and enter investigation when it was hit multiple times by a laser.
The suspect was believed to be on a balcony of a hotel on Birchmount. Officers attended the location and arrested the suspect.
A 52-year-old man from Markham is facing the same three charges as the other individual, plus obstructing police charges.
Meanwhile, police are looking for a third suspect in connection with an incident that occured on May 23. At around 11:30 p.m., police say Air2 was hit by a laser while on general patrol near Bathurst St. and Jefferson Sideroad in Richmond Hill. No suspect information has been released.
Police say laser pointers can have serious consequences for pilots as they can cause flash blindness. Health Canada says this reaction is similar to what happens during flash photography, where the image of the flash remains in your eyes for a few seconds then fades away.
Anyone with information about the third laser strike incident is asked to contact police or leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.