DENVER (AP) — Logan Scott Debyle, a man who was arrested by Denver police during a post-election protest, has been charged in federal court with aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday. Court records show Debyle, of Denver, made his first court appearance earlier in the day after being charged with aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft. Debyle was released from custody after promising to appear back in court for future hearings.
Debyle was represented by David Kraut of the federal public defender’s office, which does not comment on its cases.
According to an affidavit from an FBI agent supporting the charge against him, Debyle allegedly aimed the laser at the cockpit of the police department’s helicopter on Nov. 4 as it monitored civil unrest in Cheesman Park, the starting point of a protest march toward the state Capitol the day after Election Day.
The helicopter crew directed officers on the ground to two men seen near the laser, according to the document. After he was found and arrested, Debyle told a detective that he was “just sorta playing around with it,” according to the document. The other man told police he was worried about what Debyle was doing and tried to distance himself from him, the document said.
Debyle was arrested by Denver officers for allegedly having prohibited fireworks before the federal charge was filed against him on Nov 6. He was arrested on Thursday on the federal charge, which carries a penalty of not more than five years in prison and a fine of not more than $250,000.
About 100 people participated in the protest, holding banners like “Death to Fascism And the Liberalism That Enables It” as a number of police dressed in riot gear monitored them.
A fire was set in an overturned dumpster and broken windows and graffiti were reported during the demonstration, police said.
Officers used pepper balls and mace to disperse the crowd after the fire, police said.
By COLLEEN SLEVIN, Associated Press
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