Local News in Brief : Man Innocent of Using Light to Obstruct Police

A man charged with obstructing a police officer by shining a high-powered spotlight at a Los Angeles police helicopter was acquitted by a San Fernando Municipal Court jury Thursday.

The jury in Judge Michael S. Luros' court deliberated about four hours before declaring Wayne A. Winston, 21, innocent in the July 10 incident in Sylmar.

At the time of the incident, Winston was watching an illegal drag race on San Fernando Road near Roxford Street that was being monitored by patrol officers and the two-man helicopter, authorities said.

Deputy City Atty. Stephen G. McKee argued that Winston trained the 200,000-candlepower light on the helicopter, temporarily blinding the pilot and putting him in danger of hitting high-voltage lines.

However, Deputy Public Defender John T. Koteles said Winston was trying to aim the light on a friend in a truck and did not mean to shine it on the helicopter.

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