Los Angeles: During the month of July 2022, the Los Angeles Police Department has made seven arrests for the use of a laser against LAPD Helicopters. This has been a significant increase in the number of arrests, with only one arrest occurring in June of 2022.
A majority of these arrests have taken place at “Street Takeover” events. The laser strike s present a serious risk of injury to the pilots and crew of the aircraft. The attack has its own penal code section created for it due to the risk to the general public caused by an incapacitated or blinded pilot (Section 247.5 PC discharge of a laser at an aircraft). This section carries a maximum term in state prison of 3 years.
On July 2, 2022, Xavier Randal, 21 years old, was arrested for a laser strike on a LAPD Helicopter at a street takeover event (Booking Number 6410787). The Los Angeles District Attorney’s office filed one count of 237.5 PC and one count of 245 C PC (Assault with a Deadly Weapon on a Police Officer) against Randal. There are six other cases are pending criminal filings.
Due to the seriousness of the crime, Major Crimes Division (MCD) is tasked with reviewing all laser strikes on aircrafts.
Anyone with information on individuals participating in this type of activity is asked to call Major Crimes Division, Criminal Investigation Section at (213)-486-7280. During nonbusiness hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to www.lacrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may also visit www.lapdonline.org, and click on “Anonymous Web Tips” under the “Get Involved-Crime Stoppers” menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the “P3 Tips” mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.