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Laser beam hits California police helicopter while on a mission

Laser beam aiming at a California Highway Patrol helicopter. (California Highway Patrol/Facebook)
January 15, 2021

A California Highway Patrol helicopter crew was wrapping up a mission at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, helping Napa Police track a suspect who had fled on foot, when it was hit with a blinding green light.

It was a laser being aimed at the helicopter from the second story of an apartment on Colina Court in southwest Napa, said crew member Whitney Lowe.

“It was easy to spot,” said Officer Lowe. “It looks like a giant light saber coming from the ground. It hit us for 45 seconds” over three bursts. He described it as a “blinding light.”

“Most people don’t understand the severity of the act, that it’s a crime and a felony,” said Lowe.

Lowe said Napa Police were able to track the light to the source where a male admitted shining the light. He was cited and released, he said.

Police will be forwarding this incident to the FBI for possible federal as well as state charges, the CHP said.

Napa Police were not available Thursday to explain the call that triggered the CHP aerial response.

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(c) 2021 Napa Valley Register

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