SoCal man allegedly pointed laser at helicopter

CATHEDRAL CITY — A Southern California man has been arrested on federal charges for allegedly pointing a laser at a California Highway Patrol helicopter.

The U.S. attorney's office says 19-year-old Nathan Wells was arrested Friday morning on two felony counts in connection with a June 2009 incident in Riverside County.

Prosecutors say a CHP helicopter was helping Cathedral City police handle a residential burglary report when a bright green light hit the cockpit.

The pilot and a crewmember had to look away from the laser and alter their course. They spotted the light coming from a vehicle. Prosecutors say police stopped the vehicle and found Wells and a laser device.

Wells could face up to 40 years in federal prison if convicted of both counts.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.