SAN DIEGO–An indictment was unsealed in federal court Tuesday charging a San Diego resident with knowingly aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in August.

Stephen Glenn McLeod. 38, was arraigned at a hearing in federal court in San Diego. 

At the hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Shapiro told U.S. Magistrate Allison Goddard that McLeod is alleged to have pointed a laser pointer at a San Diego Police Department helicopter multiple times while participating in a protest on August 28.   

“We support everyone’s right to peacefully assemble and protest. Aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter, however, is highly dangerous and a serious violation of federal law,” said U.S. Attorney Robert Brewer.

“When aimed at an aircraft, a beam of light from a handheld laser can illuminate a cockpit, disorienting and temporarily blinding the pilots,” said Suzanne Turner, Special Agent in Charge of FBI San Diego. “It’s a federal felony that the FBI and our law enforcement partners take very seriously.”

U.S. Magistrate Judge Goddard set a personal appearance bond of $35,000, guaranteed by two financially responsible adults. The next hearing is scheduled for November 20 before U.S. District Court Judge Janis Sammartino.