Arrest made after subject shines laser at WSP patrol plane in Tumwater

Photo: City of Tumwater

A suspect is in custody after they allegedly shined a laser at a Washington State Patrol aircraft while they were searching for a missing/endangered elderly man in Tumwater earlier this week.

Tumwater Police requested the WSP aircraft “Smokey” to assist in the search for 75-year-old Barrett Patterson, who has dementia. Patterson walked away from his adult family home in Tumwater on Thursday afternoon, according to TPD.

Shortly after the aircraft arrived over Tumwater to assist in the search, the State Troopers in the plane overhead reported that someone was shining a laser at them from the area of Trosper Rd and Schoth Rd SW, according to scanner traffic.

KOMO News reported Saturday that a suspect has been arrested for the incident, however we did not locate anyone on the jail roster in Thurston County with matching charges. The unlawful discharge of a laser is a felony in Washington, and the person responsible will likely be in trouble with the Federal Aviation Administration also.

Mr. Patterson was located alive by Search and Rescue officials the next morning. He was treated for mild hypothermia, according to the City of Tumwater.

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