Friday, August 17, 2018
News Roundup

Man blinds St. Pete assistant chief of police with laser pointer

A Pinellas Park man was arrested Saturday after he blinded a St. Petersburg assistant police chief with a laser pointer.

David Smith, 42, of Pinellas Park was inside of a parked car at 5625 4th St. N when St. Petersburg Assistant Chief of Police Jim Previtera drove past him, according to a police report.

Smith pointed a laser at Previtera's car, the police report said.

Previtera said the car's windshield was "illuminated by a bright blue light flash," according to the report.

The flash blinded Previtera, and he experienced impaired vision for thirty minutes, police said.

Previtera and patrol units made contact with Smith's parked car and arrested Smith on the charge of misuse of a laser lighting device, a third-degree felony.

To demonstrate the power of the seized laser, officers pointed the laser at a paper bag, setting the bag on fire.

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