Man accused of pointing laser at Phoenix police helicopter

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Edward Bebec By Mike Gertzman Edward Bebec By Mike Gertzman

PHOENIX -- A 36-year-old man was arrested Tuesday night after allegedly pointing a hand-held laser at a Phoenix police helicopter.

According to police spokesman Officer James Holmes, the helicopter was patrolling over the area of the Pointe Hilton Tapatio Cliffs Resort near Seventh Street and Thunderbird Road when the cockpit of the aircraft was suddenly struck by a green laser light.

The officers on board put the aircraft spotlight on the hill just north of the resort and saw a man standing alone in the area. The officers alerted Pointe Hilton security and directed the suspect via their PA system to walk off the hill.

Resort security detained the man, identified as Edward Bebec, until Phoenix police ground units arrived.

Holmes said officers searched the area where Bebec was observed and found a small, high-intensity hand-held laser that emitted a green light.
Bebec was booked into jail on two felony counts of endangerment.

"Pointing a laser at an operational aircraft is not only against the law, it is incredibly dangerous," Holmes said in a news release. "Aside from temporary damage to the eye and the potential loss of control of the aircraft, permanent eye damage can also occur."