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Arrest Made For Laser Incident Invoving Ventura County Sheriff’s Department Helicopter

Posted on Thursday, December 29, 2011 3:45pm

The Ventura County Sheriff’s Department is now saying that it arrested a man in connection with an incident where someone on the ground pointed a laser at a department helicopter called to the scene to help search for suspects in a shooting.

It happened Tuesday night (12/27) in Fillmore.  Deputies called to the area around First Street, and Central Avenue just after 8:30 p.m. found a man with a gunshot wound in the arm.  As a department helicopter hovered over the scene, someone on the ground hit it with a laser light.   The chopper flew to the area where it thought the light was coming from, and the light disappeared.  When the helicopter returned to the shooting zone, the laser light appeared again, prompting the craft to leave the area.

A laser light can temporarily blind a pilot wearing night vision goggles, and potentially lead to a crash. 

Authorities didn’t release any information about arrests at the time, but on Thursday said they arrested 20 year old Torrey Phillips of Fillmore at his Fernglen Circle home on an outstanding felony warrant, and at the time of the arrest, found he had a green laser pointer.  In addition to the warrant, he’s facing a charge of discharging a laser at an aircraft.

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