According to police, the Riverside County Sheriff Department’s Aviation Unit helicopter crew was on routine flight patrol over Perris at 8:27 p.m. when a suspect on the ground intentionally discharged a high-powered green laser at the helicopter. The laser illuminated the interior of the helicopter’s cockpit, which caused temporary blindness to the helicopter crew’s Tactical Flight Officer (TFO).
Three male suspects were observed fleeing on foot into the storm drain near the intersection of Patriot Lane and Wilson Avenue. The TFO immediately directed the Perris Police Department’s patrol officers to the suspects' location.
In less than a minute, a patrol officer in the immediate area quickly located and detained the three suspects near the wash area. Two teenage suspects, both residents of Perris, were detained, interviewed, and released to their parents. The third suspect, a 16-year-old Hispanic male juvenile and resident of Perris, was found in possession of a handheld high-powered green laser.
Further investigation revealed this suspect had intentionally discharged the green laser at the Sheriff’s helicopter. The suspect was charged with Penal Code Section 247.5, "Intentionally Discharging a High-Powered Laser at an Aircraft in Flight." The suspect was booked at the Riverside County Juvenile Hall in Riverside.
Anyone with information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call Deputy O. Grant from the Perris Sheriff’s Station at 951-210-1000.