A Vernon man accused of shining a powerful laser pointer at passing airplanes will stand trial in May for unrelated charges.
Blake Everett Dergez is charged under the Aeronautics Act for endangering the safety or security of an aircraft in flight. According to Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service, the laser pointer charge was handled by the federal prosecutors with the Public Prosecution Service of Canada.
Meanwhile, Dergez is also charged with six counts of assault with a weapon, one count of uttering threats and four counts of breach of release conditions. A trial for those charges is set for May 17.
He also has a trial in Penticton on Aug. 21 for assaulting a peace officer and will appear on a separate Penticton sentencing for assaulting a different peace officer on April 19 to see if a pre-sentence report is ready.
Dergez remains in custody, McLaughlin confirmed.
Dergez has been in and out of Penticton court repeatedly over allegations of prison violence. On May 3, 2022, he was found guilty of charges of assault with a weapon and assault of a peace officer stemming from an incident in July 2021 at the Okanagan Correctional Centre. Dergez had broken the mount for the television in his cell then used a piece as a weapon against the tactical squad that was deployed to remove him from the room.
Dergez has a criminal record dating back to 2003.