VIDEO: Laser pointed at cockpit of Fresno police helicopter

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Newly released video shows a suspect pointing a laser inside the cockpit of a Fresno police helicopter. (KFSN)

Newly released video shows a suspect pointing a laser inside the cockpit of a Fresno police helicopter.

Johnny Quenga, 28, was arrested for the felony offense. Officers say he purposefully tried to obscure the pilot's vision by repeatedly pointing a laser into the cockpit.

The pilot of Air Unit 1 saw flashes of green Thursday night. The officer zoomed in for a better look only to get blinded by the laser again.

"It went into the cockpit and then he kept doing it. He knew the helicopter, knew what he was doing, and then he kept doing it," said Lt. Joe Gomez with the Fresno Police Department.

The suspect, Johnny Quenga, was using an airsoft gun with a laser on the end. Police say it's a felony to obscure the pilot's vision with a laser pointer and in some cases can cause them to crash. And as police units were driving toward the suspect, a patrol car was struck by a truck.

The impact of the crash seriously hurt the officer in the passenger seat, who had to go into emergency surgery Friday. The driver was also injured.

"The impact of that collision knocked him out. He lost some teeth; I guess his teeth were broken in the crash," said Gomez.

It's unclear who caused the car crash at the intersection of Herndon and Blackstone, and investigators are hoping to piece together the answers by using surveillance footage.

"American cops, they are hurt more in accidents than by guns or knives; that's a known fact for many, many years," said Gomez.

Passengers in the other car only had minor injuries and are cooperating with police. Meanwhile, the laser-pointing suspect is in jail.

A close friend of the injured officer tells Action News he's going to be OK, but he faces a long road of recovery because of his injuries. The officer who was driving was treated and released.

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