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2 Accused of Aiming Laser at Helicopter

January 11, 1986

Two teen-age San Dimas boys were arrested for investigation of assault with a deadly weapon after two Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies in a helicopter were momentarily blinded by a laser beam of red light, authorities said Friday.

The youths, 16 and 17, were playing Thursday night with an IBM gas laser, similar to those used at supermarket checkout counters, when they allegedly aimed the device at a helicopter hovering over Juanita and Hatfield avenues, Sheriff's Lt. Richard Wallace said.

The pilot and observer were temporarily blinded and veered away from the path of light to maintain control of the helicopter.

The youths were released to their parents.

The pilot, Deputy Frank Benach, 34, and observer, Deputy Alfred Meisiel, 46, landed the aircraft at the Industry sheriff's station. They were examined at a nearby hospital and released.

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