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Lawyer: Va. Man with Laser Meant No Harm

July 5, 2010

An attorney for a Fairfax County man charged with interfering with the operation of an aircraft says his client only wanted to see what kind of helicopter was flying over his house before dawn.

Raymond Jeffrey Poli acknowledges aiming a laser pointer at the police helicopter on Feb. 27 after his conventional flashlight didn't help him make out the aircraft's markings. But his lawyer says he didn't mean any harm.

Now a Fairfax County grand jury is expected to decide whether Poli should stand trial.

Other pilots and a federal study have found that bright external lights can cause a flare in night-vision goggles, temporarily impairing sight. Police say Poli's actions endangered the helicopter crew.

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