Video shows Virginia man pointing laser at police helicopter during a pursuit:
A man in northern Virginia was arrested last week in connection with a laser attack that hit a local police helicopter during a pursuit, officials said.
The suspect, an unidentified 25-year-old man, was released on bond after the Fairfax County Police Department detailed the incident in a post. Instagram on Wednesday. According to the police department, he was initially detained for interfering with the operation of an aircraft. Anyone who interferes or threatens to interfere with an aircraft without obtaining permission to do so from the Federal Aviation Administration or the US Armed Forces may be charged. Class I Misdemeanor. In Virginia
“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is illegal and a very bad idea when that aircraft is a police helicopter,” the Fairfax County Police Department wrote on Instagram.
The Instagram post included a video that appeared to be recorded from inside a police helicopter, which flew over a cluster of residential buildings last Friday night while “Virginia State Police searched for someone I was helping those who ran away from my soldiers.” He pointed in the direction of the helicopter from the window of a building on the ground below, revealing a bright green beam of light. The laser appeared to move rapidly in circular motions, and police department officials inside the plane could be heard instructing each other to put on safety glasses as they zoomed in on the laser with their cameras.
According to Fairfax County Police, the incident happened Friday night at approximately 11:25 pm EST. Crews aboard the helicopter, known as Fairfax 1, were able to pinpoint the laser’s location using the thermal imaging functions and sensors of its FLIR system, the police department said. After discovering that the laser was coming from the balcony of an apartment in southern Fairfax County, 20 miles south of Washington, D.C. police detectives from the department’s Special Investigations Division worked to identify and arrest the suspect. .
There are laser attacks targeting all types of aircraft. is becoming more common Across the U.S., federal officials reported last year. Data released by the Federal Aviation Administration in April showed that the number of reported laser attacks increased 41 percent in 2021 and totaled more than 9,700 individual incidents – more than one every hour – in California, Texas And Florida recorded the most strikes by state.
Although illegal, laser attacks on aircraft are dangerous and can potentially blind the pilots who operate them. According to the FAA, 47 pilots reported injuries from laser strikes in 2021. Laser strikes can cause temporary blindness and potentially long-term eye injuries, and often occur when aircraft are close to the ground, such as when they are preparing to land. .
Deputy Ben Seehorn of the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office in Palmetto, Florida, recalled his experience of being hit by a blinding laser beam in comments to “CBS Mornings” last year. The incident occurred in February when Seehorn was at the controls and flying low in a sheriff’s office helicopter.
“You all look green,” he said. “So, it’s very annoying.”