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Local News in Brief : Drag Race Spectator With Spotlight Seized

July 12, 1988

A man who pointed a high-powered spotlight at a Los Angeles police helicopter and momentarily blinded its pilot while the craft hovered over an illegal drag race in Sylmar was arrested Monday, authorities said.

Wayne Winston, 20, was being held in lieu of $500 bail at the Devonshire Division jail after his misdemeanor arrest on suspicion of obstructing a police officer about 12:30 a.m. on San Fernando Road near Roxford Street, police said.

Patrol officers and the two-man helicopter were moving in on a drag race with as many as 100 spectators on San Fernando Road when Winston turned a 200,000-candle-power spotlight on the approaching helicopter, police said.

Police said the copter pilot was blinded by the light but after a few seconds recovered and notified officers on the ground, who arrested Winston and seized the light. Police said the spectators fled in all directions when police moved in.

Two other men, whose names were not immediately available, were cited for drag racing, police said.

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