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Two arrested after laser pointed at L.A. County sheriff's helicopter

Two arrested after laser pointed at L.A. County sheriff's helicopter
A Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter on assignment over Griffith Park in 2014. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Two people were arrested after a laser was pointed at a Los Angeles County sheriff's helicopter during a training exercise, authorities said Wednesday.

Since 2010, the department's aircraft have been struck by lasers 35 times, including six incidents this year, according to a sheriff's news release. Arrests have been made in about two dozen cases, the department said.

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Lasers can dazzle or temporary blind a pilot and can inflict irreversible damage to someone's retina, sheriff's officials said.

The latest incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday during Sheriff's Department training in Agoura Hills. The sheriff's helicopter flight crew notified patrol deputies that a laser had been pointed at the helicopter from the ground and directed them to a house in the 5300 block of Francisca Way, the department said.

Deputies arrested Christopher Cooper, 31, of Lake Elsinore, and Tanjelina Meredith, 33, of San Juan Capistrano. The suspects were visiting a friend at the Agoura Hills home, the department said.

The pair were arrested on suspicion of discharging a laser at an aircraft, a felony. They were held in lieu of $20,000 bail.

For more news, follow @jackfleonard.

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