- Associated Press - Thursday, January 7, 2016

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - Federal prosecutors are accusing a New Jersey man of aiming a laser pointer at a TV station’s helicopter.

Twenty-six-year-old Stiven Lopez-Bender could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

Prosecutors say a helicopter for WABC-TV in New York was covering a house fire in Elizabeth on Nov. 11 when a green laser was aimed at its flight deck. They say a reporter and the pilot saw Lopez-Bender point a laser at the aircraft three more times.

Lopez-Bender was released on $10,000 unsecured bond. Defense attorney David Holman said Thursday he couldn’t comment.

Aviation officials say laser light can blind pilots, creating a dangerous situation.

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This story has been corrected to show the incident happened Nov. 11, not Nov. 10.

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