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Handheld laser shined at drivers

Fri., March 6, 2009, midnight

I-90 motorists targeted, WSP says

The Washington State Patrol is looking for witnesses who may have seen two people shining a handheld green laser light into vehicles Tuesday on Interstate 90. Drivers who were targeted are sought as well.

“The lights can be distracting, which could lead to a collision,” said Trooper Mark Baker. “They can also hurt people’s eyes.”

The Spokane incident began about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to a Washington State Patrol press release.

At about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, “A white 1995 Chevrolet K1500 pickup truck, with two occupants, was reported to be shining a handheld green laser beam at motorists while driving down the interstate,” Capt. Jeff DeVere said in a news release. “Some were believed to be ‘lighted up’ from behind and others either from the rear or from the side.”

The WSP has identified one targeted driver, authorities said. The agency is looking for other targets and witnesses in Tuesday night’s incident or during any time in recent weeks.

The same type of laser light also has been cause for concern in Western Washington.

On Sunday and Feb. 22, someone pointed a green laser light at an airplane preparing to land at Sea-Tac International Airport.

The crew of a Horizon Airlines plane from Portland reported the light from north of Boeing Field in Seattle. Police did not find any suspects.

The laser light incident in Spokane and the ones reported at Sea-Tac are a coincidence, authorities said.

Police, the Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Security Administration are investigating the Sea-Tac incident Sunday as well as the Feb. 22 flashings, which involved a dozen planes.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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