08/01/2013 08:40 EDT | Updated 10/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Man arrested after laser beam flashed at police helicopter

A 19-year-old man is facing charges after someone flashed a laser at a police helicopter overnight.

The HAWCS pilot was flashed three times around 1:30 a.m. MT on Thursday, Duty Insp. Guy Baker said.

“It can cause retina damage. It can also temporarily blind them making it extremely difficult to operate their aircraft,” he said.

Police determined the laser was coming from Dalhart Road in the northwest.

Ground units went to a residence and arrested the suspect.

He faces a charge of mischief under the Criminal Code and unlawful projection of a laser, which is an offence under federal aviation regulations.