NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (AP) -- The former head of a condominium association was arrested for allegedly pointing a laser into the cockpit of a police helicopter, temporarily blinding the pilot, authorities said.
Peter Kontos, 33, of Newport Beach, was arrested Thursday. He is being held on $500,000 bond. If convicted, he faces up to three years in prison.
Police said Kontos pointed the laser at a police helicopter that responded to a burglary at the condominium complex where he lives on April 1. The pilot traced the beam - 30 times more powerful than a standard laser pointer - to Kontos' home, police said.
"The pilot indicated the blinding green laser light struck the helicopter's cockpit three times," police Sgt. Bill Hartford said.
A search of Kontos' home also yielded more than $100,000 in cash and several grams of cocaine, police said.
Kontos is a suspect in the embezzlement of more than $1 million in funds from a condominium association where he once served as president in 2002 and 2003.
Irvine lawyer Jeffrey Shields said he represented homeowners and the condominium association in a case against Kontos for his actions as president.
"We had a court-ordered special election to recall him, and then when the new board came in, embezzlement was discovered," Shields said.
A $1.6 million judgment was obtained against Kontos, the lawyer said.
Yeah, so it's really smart to try to blind a police helicopter pilot with a laser because of noise when you have $100K and a bunch of coke in the house and a criminal record. Really, really smart.