A grand jury indicted a man for allegedly shining a powerful laser into the eyes of a Portland police officer during a protest last month, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Tuesday.
Bryan Kelley, 36, was charged with assault in the second degree, unlawful use of a weapon, and two counts of unlawful directing of light from a laser pointer.
Schmidt said the laser "was so powerful that it would burn through paper and cause dry material to catch fire." The Portland Police Bureau posted a video online of the confiscated laser burning a piece of cardboard.
The incident occurred Aug. 25. Portland police said protesters broke into Portland City Hall and started vandalizing the building.
"Members of the Portland Police Bureau Rapid Response Team (RRT) responded to City Hall to restore order," the Portland Police Bureau said in a release. "At least one member of RRT realized that Mr. Kelley had repeatedly directed a laser into the RRT member's eyes, causing injury."
Later that night, Kelly was arrested by police and taken to jail.
Police officers have frequently encountered dangerous lasers during protests across the country. A Department of Homeland Security report on the Portland protests mentions lasers being targeted at police or aircraft at least eight times.
Acting Deputy Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Ken Cuccinelli said that multiple federal officers were temporarily blinded by lasers during Portland protests.
“We’ve had a number of officers who have days-long blindness. So far they’ve all kind of come back, if you will," Cuccinelli said during a Senate hearing last month. "You also get what’s called flash blindness, think of it as the old Kodak cameras where you’d get that blue spot and you can’t quite see your entire field of vision for a period of time."