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Coast Guard fines man $9,500 for laser strike on state ferry

The Tokitae heads into the dock on a run from Clinton, Wash., Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in Mukilteo, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
The Tokitae heads into the dock on a run from Clinton, Wash., Tuesday, July 1, 2014, in Mukilteo, Wash. (Elaine Thompson / AP)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – A Whidbey Island man must pay a $9,500 civil penalty for shining a high-powered blue laser at a Washington state ferry in 2015.

U.S. Coast Guard said Tuesday that one of its hearing officers assessed the penalty against Mark Raden of Freeland last week.

The Coast Guard in April said it had fined Raden $100,000 for the laser strike. Spokeswoman Ali Flockerzi told the Kitsap Sun that fine was for a series of offenses but the hearing officer chose to pursue one – interfering with the safe operation of a vessel.

Raden was riding a state ferry between Mukilteo and Clinton when he pointed the laser at another ferry, hitting the vessel’s master and chief mate in the eyes.

The Coast Guard says Raden also pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment in Island County Superior Court. He was ordered to serve 15 days in jail and pay about $3,740 in restitution to the master and chief mate.

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