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Glendale man pleads not guilty to pointing laser at police helicopter

July 12, 2011|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com

A 31-year-old Glendale man pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges that he flashed a green laser at a police helicopter crew, officials said.

Erick Medina faces one felony count of discharging a laser at an occupied aircraft, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

He is scheduled to appear July 20 in Los Angeles County Superior Court in Burbank.

Medina was arrested in May after he allegedly flashed a green laser from his Elk Avenue apartment several times and directly at a Glendale police helicopter crew on patrol, officials said.

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He told officers that he had been looking at stars through a telescope, according to police reports.

The Federal Aviation Administration has logged 11 laser-pointing incidents for aircraft at or near Bob Hope Airport since June.

Officials said shining a high-powered laser at an aircraft can damage a pilot's eyes or cause temporary blindness.

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