The 31-year-old San Jacinto woman was behind bars for a second time after allegedly pointing a laser at a firefighter behind the wheel of a fire engine.
Irene Levy’s colorful history makes her no stranger to her community or local law enforcement. She is best known in San Jacinto for a stunt she pulled in May 2010 when she used an amateur radio to interfere with an emergency response dispatcher.
She used her computer to program a radio to broadcast over emergency frequencies. Then, over a 30-hour period, she started making bomb threats, threatening the cops, and taunting them that they would never catch her.
The attacks were sporadic — and often juvenile. One cop quotes her as saying “Piggy, piggy, piggy, die, die, die,” according to the Press-Enterprise newspaper. But her interruptions were sporadic, making it difficult for police to trace the transmissions. She also disguised her voice to sound like a man.
But police were finally able to track her transmissions. When they arrived at her home, she was still holding a radio. All told, they found 11 radios, seven frequency scanners, computers and a ham radio technician’s license KJ6CEY issued by the FCC, which was promptly yanked.
Levy was found guilty of jamming emergency radio frequencies by broadcasting threats and making a fake bomb threat. As part of her probation, she was ordered to complete a mental health program and stay out of trouble.
But early Saturday morning, police said Levy violated her probation by pointing a laser beam at a CalFire crew twice as they responded and then returned from a call.
Laser pointers are often used to demonstrate or draw an audience’s attention to a subject, but in the wrong hands they can cause harm. It’s been a problem many pilots are familiar with. This past January, a Glendora man was arrested after allegedly shining a laser into the cockpit of a helicopter.
“It is extremely dangerous anytime you point a laser at people in general. It can blind someone, it can distort their vision, and it is especially dangerous when someone is driving,” said Sgt. Dave Haar of the San Jacinto Police Department.
It’s unclear why Levy allegedly turned her laser on firefighters, but San Jacinto residents like Jolene Oakly are not amused.
“I think it is deplorable because we need every bit of help we can get down here,” Oakly said.
Levy was charged with pointing a laser at a moving vehicle and violating the terms of her probation. She was being held on $25,000 bail.
Sources: https://abclocal.go.com and https://www.truecrimereport.com