Hearing for Man Accused of Blinding Police Chopper With Laser

By Dan Stamm and Danielle Johnson
|  Thursday, Aug 29, 2013  |  Updated 3:29 PM EDT
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Man Allegedly Blinds Police With Laser

Philadelphia Police

Luis Martinez is accused of pointing a green laser at a Philadelphia Police helicopter on Aug. 11, 2013.


A preliminary hearing will be held Friday for a man facing aggravated assault charges for allegedly pointing a green laser at a police helicopter as it performed a search.

Luis Martinez is also charged with simple assault, reckless endangerment, and possessing an instrument of crime.

Two officers were searching a wooded area of Tacony Creek Park near Whitaker Avenue & E Ruscomb Street on the evening of September 11 when a green laser began to blind the officers and interfere with their instruments, according to police.

The officers in the Tac Air 2 chopper tried to elude the beam unsuccessfully so they activated the spot light to illuminate a nearby porch where the beam appeared to originate. On that porch they spotted two men.

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The officers in the chopper contacted police on the ground and about 15 minutes later officers stopped Martinez and another man along the 5200 block of Montour Street. Police say they found a green light laser pointing on Martinez so they arrested the 20-year-old.

Investigators allege that Martinez repeatedly pointed the green laser at the chopper.

Philadelphia Police say that Martinez could face federal charges as well.

About a week later, a Philadelphia man was arrested and charged with shining a green laser pointer at a police helicopter during a ground search in the area of Malta and Cyuga Streets.

Nineteen-year-old Jose Feliciano was charged with aggravated assault, risking a catastrophe and possessing an instrument of crime. Police recovered the laser pointer at the scene.

Investigators say the officers suffered pain and temporary loss of vision.


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