SAUSALITO (CBS SF) -- California Highway Patrol officer, running a traffic break on Highway 101 near the Waldo Grade to slow drivers approaching a disabled vehicle, were blinded early Tuesday by a speeding suspect using a hand-held laser, authorities said.
The CHP said the incident took place just after midnight. The officers had their lights on, driving back and forth across the lanes of southbound 101, warning drivers of a vehicle that was blocking the fast lane in a dark area of the Waldo Grade.
"As the officer were responding with all of their emergency lights on they noticed what appeared to be a green laser dot on the center divide wall just ahead of them," the CHP posted on its Facebook page. "Suddenly, the entire interior of the patrol vehicle was filled with a bright green light which caused both officers in the car to be temporarily blinded."
Fortunately, the officer was able to regain his sight before crashing into any of the other vehicles.
"As the officer's vision recovered they noticed a black hatchback now ahead of their break," the CHP posted. "Unable to discontinue their response to the crash they radioed ahead to another CHP unit assigned to a construction detail on the Golden Gate Bridge. They provided the description of the vehicle and warned that they might also be targeted with the laser."
Since there were no other cars ahead of the patrol, other officers were able to pull over the suspect and put him in custody.
"The vehicle was quickly spotted traveling at a high rate of speed in the construction zone and was immediately stopped," the CHP posted. "After questioning the driver they learned that he was in fact the person responsible for the laser strike and placed him under arrest. A search of the vehicle located a high-power green laser pen which had been used."
As officers were telling dispatch what had happened it was discovered that earlier in the night there had been two other calls at two different locations in Marin. It turned out to be the same individual who appeared to be using the laser to get vehicles to move over so he could pass them.
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