Juvenile arrested for pointing laser at MCSO helicopter

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SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A juvenile was arrested for allegedly pointing a laser at a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office helicopter Friday night.

The incident happened about 7 p.m. while an MCSO pilot and his crew were performing a rescue mission in the White Tank Mountains.

MCSO spokesman Jeff Sprong said a man, woman and two small children took a wrong turn while hiking and became lost. The pilot was able to locate the family and flew them back to their vehicle.

While the helicopter was flying out of the area, the pilot was "flashed" four times by a laser, according to Sprong. The crew located where the flash came from and directed the Surprise Police Department to a back porch of a house in the area of 16700 N. 177th Ave.

Officers located four juveniles who had the laser pointer in their possession.

Police also had received reports that someone was aiming a laser pointer at vehicles as they drove by on Bell Road, according to Sgt. Bert Anzini.

The investigation resulted in the arrest of a 14-year-old suspect from Surprise. The teen was referred to the Juvenile Division of Superior Court for a felony charge of endangerment.

"My dedicated sheriff's employees are risking their lives," Sheriff Joe Arpaio said. "It upsets me that the actions by this person could have seriously injured my employees and put more lives at risk. I hope that the public understands the danger in these actions."