A homeless man could face up to a year in prison after aiming a laser at an Island County Sheriff’s Office deputy, according to court documents.
Prosecutors charged Richard Borgeson, 28, on Aug. 17 in Island County Superior Court with unlawful discharge of a laser.
At around 4:40 a.m. on April 27, a deputy stopped a man for jaywalking near McDonald’s in Oak Harbor, the police report states.
While speaking to the jaywalker, the deputy learned of the potential whereabouts of a woman in a homeless camp who had a warrant out for her arrest, according to court documents.
During the search of the camp for the woman, the deputy shouted “police” and shined his flashlight at different tents and asked for the names of the occupants, he wrote in the report. While making contact with one of the tents, the deputy observed a “red flash” in his peripheral vision. When he turned, he was looking right at the beam and it was directed at his body.
“Believing that I was being sighted with a weapon, I immediately turned off my flashlight, took cover, and closed the radio for emergency traffic,” the deputy wrote.
He drew his weapon, but the beam went away. The deputy found Borgeson in another tent where it had originated and “scolded” him, telling him that aiming lasers at people was a “dangerous idea,” according to the report.
The deputy wrote that he later learned it was illegal to “knowingly and maliciously discharge a laser at a law enforcement officer.”