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Man charged in laser pointing

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Man charged in laser pointing
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

An Illinois man has been charged with a crime for aiming a laser pointer at a helicopter last weekend near Somerset and will probably face federal charges.

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George A. Lubertozzi, 32, Bolingbrook, Ill., posted a $5,000 signature bond Monday on one count of reckless endangerment.

The St. Croix County sheriff's report said Lubertozzi was arrested at 1:12 a.m. Sunday at River's Edge campground near Somerset after a Life Link helicopter traveling from Regions hospital in St. Paul to Rice Lake encountered a laser beam.

The pilot used his GPS system to locate the source of the laser and sheriff's deputies who followed up noticed the reflection of a green laser beam of the clouds that led them to Lubertozzi.

Shining a laser beam at an aircraft is a violation of federal law. The FBI has taken over the case and the U.S. Attorney General's office in Madison indicated it would prosecute the case, said Chief Deputy John Shilts.

In the incident report, the pilot told deputies that a laser beam at night disrupts the night vision equipment.

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Jon Echternacht
(715) 808-8602
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