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Cops: 3 nabbed after pointing laser at police helicopter

Updated: June 20, 2011 2:16AM

A trio of young suburban men standing on an Old Town rooftop pointed a laser in the face of cops piloting a police helicopter in a prank that prosecutors say could have caused a terrible accident.

But Alvin Kang, 25, Mark Lawrence, 25, and Jeremy Smith, 24, were all arrested after the police helicopter crew used high-tech night vision to direct officers on the ground to the rooftop, police said.

As the arresting officers approached, Kang, a DePaul University grad who was on bail for an alleged battery at the time of his arrest Saturday, was allegedly spotted throwing the green laser pointer from the building on the 400 block of West Menomonee. It was later recovered, police said.

Wearing a blue hooded top, camouflage combat shorts and a sheepish expression in court Sunday, Kang, of the 3600 block of Heritage Drive in Northbrook, was ordered held on bail of $10,000 by Cook County Judge Israel Desierto.

His alleged accomplices, Lawrence, of the 40 block of Hibbard Road in Winnetka, and Smith, of the 9700 block of Keystone Road in Skokie, have yet to appear before a judge.

All three are charged with two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, aiming a laser pointer at an officer. Kang is also charged with violating his bail bond in the earlier battery case. He allegedly punched a man in the face in the early hours of June 4 after the man checked on the well-being of a woman Kang had been arguing with near the intersection of Orleans and Chicago.

Dangerous laser pointer pranks are nothing new in Chicago.

There were 98 cases of laser pointers being aimed at pilots at O’Hare airport last year — the second most in the nation after Los Angeles International Airport.

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