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Hikers found safe, laser aimed at searchers

Thu., Sept. 2, 2010, 7:57 a.m.

Four hikers were found early today following a four-hour search in Liberty Lake Regional Park, Spokane sheriff’s deputies said.

A 65-year-old woman and three boys ages 5, 8 and 11 were found in good condition at 12:45 a.m. after spending four hours in the cool night air.

During the search, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Department helicopter – Air One – was menaced by a laser beam repeatedly pointed into the cockpit of the aircraft, forcing the pilot to leave the search area.

Deputies pinpointed the source location of the laser beam, and went to a Liberty Lake residence where they arrested a 16-year-old boy for first-degree unlawful discharge of a laser, deputies said.

Meantime, searchers from Spokane County Search and Rescue, the county parks department, the sheriff’s office and Liberty Lake Police Department scoured the area to find the hiking group.

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