Man sentenced in felony laser pointing

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A Los Angeles man who pleaded no contest to pointing a laser at a Los Angeles Police Department helicopter was sentenced today to 60 days of Caltrans service and three years formal probation. Superior Court Judge Clifford Klein also ordered Alvaro Jimenez, 21, to pay $240 in fines, restitution and fees.

Jurors convicted co-defendant Floyd Atkins, 23, of Los Angeles, of the same charge July 25. The panel acquitted Atkins of a second charge involving another aircraft. Atkins is facing up to three years in county jail when he is sentenced Nov. 1.

The two men were arrested July 4, 2011, after green laser beams were pointed at LAPD air units. According to a Deputy District Attorney Theresa Mitchell, Jimenez and Atkins were at a home near USC and Atkins actually pointed the laser at the helicopter. Jimenez was laughing and opening and closing the door of the home, she said.

There was a similar laser-pointing incident about a week earlier involving both LAPD and California Highway Patrol helicopters. As a result of the earlier incident, the air units were able to pinpoint a location for the Fourth of July laser beam activity, officials said.

“Potential for danger is so great” when lasers are pointed at aircraft, Mitchell said outside court after Atkins was convicted.

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