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Woman confesses to negligently burning officer’s eye with laser

The laser pointer that allegedly burned Officer Kelly’s cornea. Courtesy of College Place Police Department.

COLLEGE PLACE, Washington – The College Place Police Department has identified a suspect in the unlawful discharge of a laser pointer that injured an officer on the evening of November 26th. Charges will be referred to the Walla Walla Prosecuting Attorney’s office following the confession of a College Place resident. The woman reported to investigators that she inadvertently shined the laser toward the officer.

Officer Bill Kelly was on routine patrol when he observed the laser light being discharged northbound toward his vehicle when he was struck in the left eye causing a burning sensation. Kelly was treated at St. Mary’s Hospital and released with a small burn of his cornea.

Police have possession of the class III laser pointer claimed to be used by the woman during the incident.

Chief Tomaras says, “This wasn’t a childhood prank, this was the result of negligent behavior by a 43 year old woman”. Unlawful discharge of a laser at a law enforcement officer in the performance of their duty is a class C felony. 

A Class C Felony conviction carries a $10,000 fine and imprisonment up to five years.


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