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Uxbridge woman charged for allegedly pointing laser at police chopper

A 20-year-old Uxbridge woman is facing several charges after she allegedly pointed a “high-powered” laser at a police helicopter over the weekend.

Before the Air1 chopper was allegedly hit, a man who spotted a group of young people vandalizing a train station on Victoria Street just before 8 p.m. Saturday was also the target of the laser pointer, Durham police spokesman Dave Selby said.

“A laser pointer was there (at the train station) at the time, being pointed at him by some of the suspects,” Selby told CityNews. “That’s what led to the response by the police of which ground forces would go out there and the helicopter would also go up to take a look.”

The laser was then pointed at Air1, police allege, as it was hovering about 1,500 metres above Uxbridge, affecting the crew’s ability to operate the chopper and the equipment on board. The craft landed safely and the pilot was taken to hospital as a precaution.

Investigators managed to track down the source of the laser — a residence on Cedar Street — where police allegedly found a woman in possession of the pointer, described by authorities as a class 3A green laser.

Melissa Perry was charged with mischief endangering life, assault with a weapon and common nuisance. She’s also facing charges under the Canadian Aviation and Aeronautics acts.

She was released with conditions.

The Durham force has dealt with several other alleged incidents of lasers pointed at its chopper over the past several years, including one involving a 10-year-old boy.