Crew members of a police helicopter are being examined for eye damage to see if they can continue flying, after their craft was targeted by a laser as it flew over the Franklin area Monday night.

Calgarian Jason John McConnell, 34, has been charged with one count each of obstructing a peace officer and mischief causing danger to life along with some aviation charges after allegedly aiming a green laser light at the helicopter and its crew at 10:45 p.m.

They immediately donned protective eyewear and spent the next 30 minutes searching for the man, who allegedly hit them at least another two times.

“Lasers when targeted at a human eye can be damaging and can cause temporary or permanent eye damage,” said acting Sgt. James Partridge


He said not only did McConnell’s alleged actions affect the safety of police officers, but the general public as well.

“We’ve got a helicopter flying around at 1,000 feet in the middle of the night. To have someone shine a laser at it is incredibly dangerous,” said Partridge.

He said there have been similar incidents before.