- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 16, 2023

A Virginia man was arrested last week after authorities say they discovered him shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter that was pursuing a suspect.

On the evening of March 10, a Fairfax County Police helicopter was tracking a fleeing suspect wanted by the Virginia State Police when one of the crew noticed a laser coming from a nearby apartment complex.

After investigating the source of the laser, detectives were able to track down the suspect at the 9200 block of Ashland Woods Lane.
A 25-year-old man was arrested soon after.

The suspect, who has not been identified, was arrested on suspicion of interference with the operation of an aircraft, which is a class 1 misdemeanor.

“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is illegal and also a very bad idea when that aircraft is a police helicopter,” Fairfax County Police wrote on Facebook.

Pointing high-powered lasers into aircraft, which is a federal crime, can incapacitate pilots and thus risk the lives of everyone aboard the plane and potentially others on the ground.

• Vaughn Cockayne can be reached at vcockayne@washingtontimes.com.

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