Dallas man who pointed laser at police helicopter faces federal charge

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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A Dallas man who told authorities that he wanted to see how far his laser pointer would illuminate now faces a federal charge of aiming the pointer at a Dallas police helicopter Monday morning, according to federal court records.

Initially, Kenneth Santodomingo, 22, aka "Juan Joel Pagan," denied aiming the pointer, but he confessed when authorities told him it had been recorded.

Santodomingo was in federal custody, scheduled for a hearing Tuesday afternoon in a Dallas federal courtroom.

If convicted on the federal charge, Santodomingo faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Authorities had not decided if he would also face state charges.

The incident began shortly after 4 a.m. Monday when Dallas police called for the department's helicopter to assist in a search for a suspect in a vehicle burglary in the 8000 block of Umphress Road in Dallas.

As the helicopter hovered over the scene, a pilot reported that the aircraft was illuminated four times, impairing the pilot's ability to control the helicopter, according to the federal complaint.

Officers in the helicopter pinpointed a location where the laser was coming from and directed officers on the ground to the 7700 block of June Road.

The illumination was coming from a backyard, authorities said.

When officer knocked at a residence, Santodomingo answered the door, dressed only in dark underwear.

Santodomingo told the officers that the pointer was in a suitcase after he first denied knowing anything about the incident.

A video taken by the helicopter showed a person using a laser that fit the description of Santodomingo.

Domingo Ramirez Jr., 817-390-7763

Twitter: @mingoramirezjr

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