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.