COUPEVILLE — A man accused of shining a high-powered laser at a police officer and two ferry captains has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
Mark Raden, 27, of Freeland, admitted to reckless endangerment, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced in Island County Superior Court to 45 days in jail. All but 15 of those can be converted into community service, court papers show.
Raden also was forbidden by the judge from owning or using “any laser outside of work/employment purposes.”
Raden earlier had been charged with felony assault. He was accused of shining the laser at a police officer in Langley in July 2015 and at the ferry captains that October. The ferry incident took place along the route between Mukilteo and Clinton.
With the plea, Raden acknowledged that he created a substantial risk of injury to the police officer. He also was ordered to pay restitution to the ferry captains, one of whom suffered a damaged retina and an eyelid burn.
The industrial laser was strong enough to start fires, according to court papers.
Under state law, it’s illegal to use a laser to impair anyone working for a public or private transit system. The same goes for shining lasers at police, firefighters, pilots and school bus drivers.
Raden had faced up to a year behind bars. He is required to report to jail by early October.