Laser assault case going to trial court in Grand Island

Lakota Hawkes is charged with assaulting an officer by pointing a power laser at him.
Lakota Hawkes is charged with assaulting an officer by pointing a power laser at him.(Hall County Jail)
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 11:21 AM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A Grand Island man pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of assaulting a police officer. The suspect’s weapon was a powerful laser pointer.

A hearing is scheduled next month for Lakota Hawkes, 20. He was arrested June 4 after an officer reported that Hawkes twice pointed a laser at him impairing his vision. Police said the officer experienced spots in his vision, eye pain and a headache. It’s not clear if the laser caused further damage.

Grand Island Police said the laser used was strong enough to start fires. A typical laser pointer is rated at 5 milliwatts. The laser used June 4 was 50,000 milliwatts, 10 thousand times stronger.

A hearing on the crime is scheduled September 15. If convicted, Hawkes could get up to 50 years in prison.

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