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21-year-old accused of beaming laser into Waukesha squad car

Posted at 6:04 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 19:04:48-05

A 21-year-old is accused of pointing a laser at a Waukesha Police Officer and causing him to fear for his life.

"The officer felt that as an immediate threat there was no doubt in his mind that someone was pointing a firearm at him," said Capt. Dan Baumann.

Police said 2 a.m. Sunday the suspect pointed a red laser light towards the officers head and chest when he was in his squad.  The officer put his squad in reverse and called for backup, but the officer could have reacted differently. 

"To potentially shoot the person out of fear for their life and out of fear for their safety because who points a laser aiming device at somebody else's chest," said Baumann.  "Approximately two years ago there was an officer involved shooting that involved a guy bringing a rifle and pointing the laser aiming device at these officers and that's vividly what these officers remember."

A neighbor, Kaden Pratt, woke up to flashing lights.  

"Basically I just woke up around 2 a.m. and the whole block was shut off.  No one could leave or come in," said Kaden Pratt.

Police were looking for the suspect who had allegedly gone inside to change into another shirt.

Pratt was surprised to hear someone was likely trying to scare an officer.   

"You shouldn't be doing that," said Pratt.

Investigators said the suspect was using a construction tool with a laser aiming feature. 

"Somebody using that in a nefarious way decided to use that in order to create some fear and intimidation against the law enforcement officer," said Baumann. "To create that fear is something that has to be dealt with in the criminal justice system."

The law says no one can intentionally direct a laser light at a correctional officer, law enforcement officer, or commission warden without the officer's consent. 

The suspect is in custody.  There was a previous warrant out for his arrest.  He has not been charged in this incident yet.