CONTRA COSTA COUNTY (KRON) — An arrest was made after the Contra Costa County Office of the Sheriff STARR helicopter was struck by a green laser pointed multiple times during a six-week period, according to officials.
On September 18th and 26th, STARR was struck by multiple laser strikes while flying over the city of Antioch. On November 1st, STARR was struck by laser strikes while over Pittsburg.
The edited video above was captured by the STARR helicopter and shows the multiple laser strikes. At 2:09, police pull up to the house, contact the suspect and arrest him.
In each case, the suspects were located using STARR’s FLIR (forward looking infrared) and mapping technology. Local police responded to the locations and arrested the suspects. These cases have been forwarded to the DA’s Office for prosecution.
Discharging a laser into an aircraft is extremely dangerous and is a federal crime. The cockpit will suddenly light-up with a bright green light. This can cause the pilot and crew members to become disoriented and lose their night vision for several minutes.
Offenders could face hefty fines from the Federal Aviation Administration.
“Discharging a laser at an aircraft not only poses a danger to the those onboard the helicopter, but also those on the ground,” said Lieutenant Jose Beltran of the Air Support Unit. “The Office of the Sheriff will continue to locate and identify offenders and pursue criminal prosecution.”
Anyone with any information on individuals pointing a laser at an aircraft is asked to report the incident to their local law enforcement agency.