Freeland man who pointed laser at ferry jailed, fined in court

Shenanigans with lasers earned a Freeland man a jail sentence and more than $100,000 in fines.

Mark D. Raden, 27, pleaded guilty in Island County Superior Court Sept. 16 to reckless endangerment for injuring two ferry captains last year with a high-powered laser.

As part of the plea bargain, charges were dropped in a prior case in which he was accused of shining a laser in a Langley police officer’s face.

Judge Alan Hancock agreed with the plea bargain and sentenced Raden to 45 days in jail, with 30 of those days converted to 240 hours of community service.

Raden was ordered to pay $3,740 in restitution to the ferry captains and $700 in court costs.

In April, the Coast Guard fined Raden $100,000 for violation of a safety and security zone as well as interference with the safe operation of the Tokitae.

The final civil penalty amount will be determined by a Coast Guard Hearing Officer in Arlington, Va., according to the Coast Guard.

Raden was aboard the Kitsap ferry transiting between Mukilteo and Clinton Oct. 22, 2015, when he pointed the blue laser at the pilot house of the Tokitae, resulting in injuries to the ferry captain and chief mate.

Raden told the trooper he pointed the laser at the water and was sorry that it bounced into the ferry.

The laser was confiscated and tested to determine how powerful it was. In one test it was pointed at a piece of wood from five feet away and caused it to smolder in three seconds, according to the report.

In an incident on July 12, 2015, Raden was accused of pointing a purple laser at a Langley police officer who was trying to stop him from shining it into homes. He was arrested and charged with the unlawful use of a laser.

The Everett Herald described a third case last year in which Raden allegedly wielded a laser. He got into a scuffle with people at a bonfire on a Freeland beach, threatened to throw an unknown liquid into people’s faces and shined what appeared to be a green laser at a man’s head and torso, the newspaper reported.

Raden was not charged in that incident.