3 Arrested for Pointing Laser at Helicopter

The suspects face felony charges after a sheriff’s helicopter reported a laser strike.

A hand-held laser was aimed at a Riverside sheriff’s helicopter Friday night, and three suspects were arrested at a home in Moreno Valley, according to the department.

The helicopter crew reported the laser strike around 8 p.m. and was able to direct police officers to a residence in the 2200 block of Bay Avenue, according to sheriff’s Sgt. Bill Guimont.

Officers contacted three suspects at the residence that were subsequently arrested. Rudy Giron, 26, Fernando Soto, 21, and Moises Estevez-Ayala, 20, were booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center on 10 counts of felony discharging laser at aircraft. All three were released on $5,000 bail.

Pointing a laser at a helicopter can cause temporary blindness in the crew, and law enforcement pilots often treat laser strikes the same as being shot at with a firearm.  

Galactic Cannibal November 17, 2012 at 11:09 PM
Our police state helicopters were in "fear for their lives" AGAIN. Surely not AGAIN..!! So they lock up the citizens and label them felons.
Reverend Smith November 18, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Idiots can't be trusted with a laser pointer without aiming it at someone's eyes - and that someone happened to be trying to pilot a helicopter over their house. It would serve them right if the pilot were temporarily blinded and as a result, crashed right on top of these jackasses and the rotor cut them off at the knees and hack off their arms so they can't get into any more trouble. All over 20 and acting like they haven't been potty trained yet.
Scott Rowe November 18, 2012 at 03:01 AM
Maybe they thought they were being invaded by aliens.
KB November 18, 2012 at 03:34 AM
"law enforcement pilots often treat laser strikes the same as being shot at with a firearm." Well I could certainly see why....not.
Brenda November 18, 2012 at 04:33 AM
I just think its super above normally ignorant because of these guys ages. Course up there in Moreno Valley they were meth'd out and didnt have a clue what they were doing I guess. Guys grow the heck UP!
concerned citizen November 18, 2012 at 05:59 AM
You are an idiot. You need to be locked up forever. People with your mentality should not be walking around free and breathing the same air as people who obey the law.
concerned citizen November 18, 2012 at 06:01 AM
My comment is for Galactic Cannibal. Reverend Smith--you are right, but the heli needs to come down on top of idiots like Cannibal also.
concerned citizen November 18, 2012 at 06:03 AM
KB, maybe some day someone will point one in your eyes when you are driving and we will see how you respond when you crash into a stationary object at 70 miles an hour.
Lynda StarWriter November 18, 2012 at 06:13 AM
You're right, Mr. Cannibal. The perps can simply be locked up and labeled, STUPID.
Reverend Smith November 18, 2012 at 09:08 AM
I think it's safe to say that if anyone had been caught putting bullet holes in a police helo, they'd get a lot more than $5,000 bail. If you call police some day to report someone creeping around your back yard and trying to break into your house, it may well be a police helo that gets there before the cruisers to spot your potential assailants. Then you'd hope the pilot's eyes are sharp enough to pick the perp out among your shrubbery.
Justice For All November 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM
Foolish punks. They just can't figure out that you can't escape from the eye in the sky. All the more reason to arm our police helicopters. One day, I hope they'll have a neutralizing ray to totally immobilize criminals, whether running or in a vehicle. That would put an end to these stupid marathon pursuits. Oh well, maybe some day.
Galactic Cannibal November 18, 2012 at 03:15 PM
Light travels in a straight line. This police helicopter was flying approx parallel to ground. So unless these foolish guys used a laser on ground, with super high tolerance tracking capability, there is no way they could have affected the eye or eyes of the cops who were flying that chopper. I do not agree with what they did but labeling them as felons and sending them to jail is a " control police state reaction".. On a separate issue the failed war on drugs is an other example of our growing "control police state", More people kill themselves every year taking prescription drugs with alcohol, than are killed taking heroin, cocaine and meth.. combined with alcohol. But you don't here much, if anything, about that human disasterin from our police-law controlled state.Do you???
tbone November 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Man leave it to ol Jose and Pancho .Grown men doing the things we did as nine year olds . As much as I belive that this is a total police state , Jose and Julio should be locked up as felons . When ppl interfear with my job it pisses me off . If its kids I have tolerence but grown men bull.
Jason EHS '99 November 18, 2012 at 06:29 PM
I can understand maybe a fine...but arrested? Felony? Thats just flat out abuse of power in my opinion. If thats the case, lets arrest those who drive with there highbeams on for felony blinding. -facepalm-
KB November 18, 2012 at 07:42 PM
We do live in a control police state, but 95% of the domesticated sheep population has a child-like perception of the police. As in: they're the good guys, and we're (general public) the bad guys.
Reverend Smith November 18, 2012 at 08:02 PM
High beams *could* cause temporary blindness. A laser in the eyes could permanently blind or damage eyesight. To a pilot, his eyesight is his job. And, if a car crashes, maybe two of up to half dozen people may be injured or killed. If an airliner (and certainly you don't think these clowns weren't limiting their laser games to helicopters) or helicopter were to go down, up to hundreds could well die. And in fact there are laws in most if not all states limiting how close oncoming traffic can be when high-beams are used. Cars: traffic fine yes. Aircraft: felony yes.
TVOR November 18, 2012 at 08:24 PM
If you have ever been a pilot or crew member and learned the things I learned as a US Army helicopter crewmember, you would understand why this is a felony. If you blind and distract a pilot they can experience spatial disorientation. This is where they lose their ability to sense which way is up (for an overly simplified explanation). Even if this occurs for only a few seconds it can be enough to cause an aircraft to crash threatening the lives of the aircrew as well as anyone on the ground where the aircraft comes down. This is truly a serious concern and it is a felony for a very good reason. By the way, they could have the same charges for pointing a laser at any aircraft, not just a law enforcement aircraft.
TVOR November 18, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Fully agree Rev.
Kerry November 18, 2012 at 08:31 PM
Those idiots completely deserve to be arrested. Anyone dumb enough to think its cool to point a laser at a police helicopter should be arrested. I don't doubt that this is the first time those three have been in contact with the police.
concerned citizen November 18, 2012 at 09:36 PM
Kerry, you are so right. These idiots defending this act are criminals themselves or have the criminal mentality.
Justice For All November 19, 2012 at 04:15 AM
@Jason: Unfortunately, a pilot doesn't have the luxury of applying his brakes or pulling over to recover as you could in a car. There are no lanes and road markings or signs to help you reorient yourself. You also have to appreciate that the intensity of a laser vs an HID highbeam at 500 feet are two completely different things. Even if you are quickly blinded by headlights while driving, you can almost instantly recover. But, a simple laser pointer (or even some of the hacked super lasers) can literally do enough damage to the pilot's vision to cause a loss of control and disaster. These jerks definitely deserve some jail time.
Justice For All November 19, 2012 at 05:43 AM
@GC: You have a tendency to grind on this "police state" idea. Too bad you have become so paranoid but I think we're a long way from a real police state. I think a lot of people appreciate the free Republic that we enjoy. America has throttled police authority just enough that it helps slow but not stop the tide of moral decay. Conversely, if we really had a police state, I think you would have seen the legalization of all illicit drugs by now. It would obviously topple the black market economy and the fools who are stupid enough to get strung out and die are losers anyway. Things would improve as we realize a survival of the fittest. Now that's a real police state.
SA November 19, 2012 at 05:44 PM
We do live in a “police state” we are under constant attack from our government via “taxes” and being told what we can consume. I do not recall reading about a down helo by laser pointer as most often it is “down helo by stinger” … However if it is illegal to point a laser at a helo, then make them pick up trash and call it a day…
DB November 19, 2012 at 06:44 PM
What the law enforement official or any other pilot does not know is whether or not there is a gun attached to the laser..........the Helo should have shot at the laser, as any other ground unit would have thinking they were being fired at.........perhaps they would have found a bad guy on the other end of it as most good guys would not be pointing a laser at a police helo........
SA November 19, 2012 at 07:37 PM
DB, I did not think of that point re: could have been a gun. That was/is a very good point as we are surrounded by psychopaths.
Jason EHS '99 November 21, 2012 at 05:56 PM
Police are wasting tax payer dollars on a practical joke instead of spending where it needs to be spent, catching murderers, rapists, thieves, drug dealers etc etc. Wanna prove my point? Call 911 in elsinore and tellem someones walkin down your street with a gun. 3 hours later, youll get a call back from a cop to make a report over the phone. Now, go point a fkn laser pen at a helocopter and withknminutes youll have the entire department knockin on your door
Jason EHS '99 November 21, 2012 at 05:58 PM
But in rev. Smiths opinion, a guy with a gun would only be able to kill or injure 16 people, a laser poinnter on the other hand can kill hundreds
Galactic Cannibal November 21, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Sadly the vast majority of Americans are poorly educated. This means they can be easily manipulated, by the Gov. and the Media. I love living in SoCal., because of the sunshine , which has nothing to do with America, I would never live in the heartland like Missouri where the bible freaks live and where women still walk just behind their husbands.
concerned citizen November 21, 2012 at 10:05 PM
Since you are so anti police, get out there any handle the criminals yourself. PLEASE
Retired Fellow January 24, 2013 at 09:12 AM
@Jason EHS '99: I am going to call bull crap about calling 911 in LE. During October 2012, I called 911 to report a male at the corner of Machado and Grand brandishing a weapon at a group of females. LEPD/RC Sheriff's Department was there in less than three minutes with four patrol cars and took the idiot into custody without incident. I am thankful for their service!!!


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