Sunday, October 22, 2017

Man fired laser at police helicopter, tried to drive away then crashed: Michael Alvarez was arrested in someone's backyard after a short foot pursuit

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fresno Man Indicted for Laser Strike on Fresno Police Helicopter

FRESNO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned a one-count indictment today against Michael Vincent Alvarez, 32, of Fresno, charging him with aiming the beam of a laser pointer at a Fresno Police Department helicopter, U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, it is alleged that on October 22, 2017, just after midnight, Alvarez struck a Fresno Police helicopter several times with a powerful green laser. The laser caused visual interference of the Tactical Flight Officer and disrupted an air support response to a domestic violence call. Alvarez was driving a vehicle on Highway 99 when he allegedly pointed the laser at the helicopter and tracked and struck it. When ground units were called to apprehend Alvarez, he drove through the streets of Fresno at a high rate of speed, eluding officers for several miles until he crashed into the center divider at First Street and Floradora Avenue. Following the crash, Alvarez ran into a residential area, jumping several fences until he was arrested in a backyard. A green laser pointer that officers found inside the driver side door pocket of Alvarez’s vehicle had a danger warning on it.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Fresno Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Escobar is prosecuting the case.

If convicted, Alvarez faces a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

FRESNO, Calif (KFSN) --  Early Sunday morning a Fresno Police Skywatch helicopter aircrew was helping officers on a call near Roeding Park when a man driving southbound on the 99 Freeway struck the helicopter with a green, high powered laser three separate times.

"It lights up the whole cockpit and of course if you're staring at it its immediately like looking into the sun or a welders arc so you have what happens is flash blindness and we lose our night vision for a bit," said Sgt. Larry Hustedde.

The suspect has been identified as 31-year-old Michael Alvarez.

"We're not talking about a kid pointing a laser, this guy really meant to do it at a police helicopter and thought he wouldn't get caught. He's on probation and had a warrant for car theft," said Hustedde.

After the flight officer recovered his vision from the laser he directed the pilot to the car with a searchlight and called for assistance from officers on the ground.

Officers say Alvarez began to lead them on a pursuit. He got off the freeway and began driving recklessly at a high speed near Downtown Fresno. Alvarez then crashed into a center divider near First and Floradora, disabling his car. He then began running into residential backyards but the flight officers were able to direct ground officers to him, who continued running and jumping fences until police officers tackled him.

Officers found the laser in the car as well as ammunition and a bb gun pistol.

Original article can be found here ➤

1 comment:

Jim Byrd said...

Does not this dippy-do understand that he has to explain this stupidity to his mother?