Those mini-lasers that you can attach to your key chain really don’t have a use beyond watching your cat chase the bright red beam. What you really shouldn’t do is point it in someone’s eyes — especially the police.
One Florida man figured this out the hard way after pointing a laser at a police helicopter, temporarily blinding the pilot to the point where he had to hand the controls to someone else. The man was arrested.
According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Department, the laser was flashed into the cockpit on multiple occasions, per Fox News.
The police were actually in pursuit of another crime that did not involve the laser dude. He ended up being charged him with one count of felony misuse of laser light.
Dean Gordon Beolet Arrested
“It can be very dangerous,” said Brevard County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Tod Goodyear. “It could cause a crash, it can cause injuries to the pilot’s eyes. It’s something that is talked about, but I don’t think is talked about enough. It’s not a prank, it’s something that could turn into a deadly situation.”
The man, identified as Dean Gordon Beolet, 33, admitted to intentionally shining the beam at the chopper.
“The first thing you try to do is avert your eyes, but it’s so quick, it immediately goes into the back of your eye and literally burns the back of your eye. It can cause permanent damage,” Shem Malmquist, an airline pilot and instructor, told Fox 35.
The sheriff’s department posted about the incident on Facebook.
You would think by now criminals in Brevard County would understand the concept of ‘Mess Around And Find Out’ but I guess some of them just need to find out the hard way!!” the post read.
“… The impact to his vision was so significant that he had to immediately turn the controls over to our Tactical Flight Officer, who thankfully on this particular flight crew is also a pilot or this situation could have been even worse.”