A man was arrested after flashing a high-powered laser at a police helicopter and fleeing from officers early Sunday morning.
Michael Alvarez, 31, was book into Fresno County Jail facing charges of shining a laser at an aircraft, which is a felony, reckless driving, and possessing narcotics.
Fresno Police Skywatch Helicopter was helping officers with a call near Roeding Park around 12:46 a.m. when it was struck by a high-powered laser three times. The source of the laser was spotted coming from the driver side of a vehicle traveling south on Highway 99.
After recovering their night vision, the helicopter pilots shined the search light at the vehicle and called in ground support. Alvarez turned off the freeway and began speeding down streets near downtown Fresno. He was able to drop off a few passengers and continued to drive recklessly.
Officers caught up to Alvarez when he crashed into the center divider near the intersection of First and Floradora avenues. He then fled on foot through residential backyards but was eventually tackled by chasing officers.
Officers searched the vehicle and found the high-powered laser along with live ammunition and a BB gun.
Alvarez also faces warrants for car theft and violating his probation.