St. Pete Police Accuse Man of Temporarily Blinding Office with Laser
The officer had vision problems for about 30 minutes, police said.
ST. PETERSBURG – Police have accused a Pinellas Park man of intentionally flashing a laser at an unmarked police car, temporarily blinding the officer.
David R. Smith, 42, of 6809 Circle Creek Drive, Pinellas was charged with misuse of a laser lighting device, a third degree felony, according to St. Petersburg police.
St. Petersburg assistant police Chief Jim Previtera was driving his unmarked police vehicle northbound in the 5600 block of Fourth Street N about 8:45 p.m. Saturday (June 11), officers said. The windshield of his vehicle was illuminated by a bright blue light flash, impairing his vision. Previtera was able to determine that the source of the blue light had come from a parked vehicle at 5625 Fourth St. N. Officers said that Smith, the driver of the parked car, had pointed a Class 3B laser at Previtera’s car.
Previtera’s vision was impaired for about 30 minutes after the incident. Police research on the Class 3B laser device, like one Smith had, showed that the laser pointer can cause serious damage to the eye. Later at the police department, the laser was pointed at a paper bag to demonstrate its power. Police said it caught the bag on fire.
For information about the St. Pete police, go to police.stpete.org.
Photos of laser and Smith courtesy of the St. Petersburg police.
St Petersburg Police | Laser | Arrests | TB Reporter
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