Toronto man charged after laser pointer flashed at police helicopter

A 22-year-old Toronto man is facing charges after police say someone targeted a police helicopter with a laser pointer, sending both officers to hospital.

York Regional Police said the Air2 helicopter was returning from a patrol flying over Richmond Hill at about midnight on Wednesday, when the pilot and tactical flight officer were hit with a bright light. 

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Police said the officers identified the source of the laser pointer in the Silver Linden Drive and High Tech Road area and directed officers to the location.

READ MORE: Global News chopper targeted by green laser pointer during newscast

The suspect was arrested at the scene and both the pilot and tactical flight officer were taken to hospital as a precaution.

Valeri Korakhashvili has been charged with endangering a person on an aircraft in flight and obstructing a peace officer.

He is scheduled to appear in a Newmarket court on June 29.

The arrest coincided with York Regional Police’s Laser safety awareness campaign, in which police are reminding the public that shining a laser at an aircraft is a punishable crime.

WATCH: Teen charged after allegedly shining laser at police helicopter pilot

Health Canada states that a split-second look into a laser pointer can result in a condition called flash blindness, which is similar to the effect of flash photography where the image of the flash remains in your eyes for a few seconds, then fades away.

“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is intentionally and recklessly putting people’s lives in danger,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe in a statement.

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact York Regional Police #2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7241, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip online at 长沙桑拿按摩论坛长沙夜生活1800222tips长沙桑拿, or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK.

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