Local News

TX Man in Federal Prison for Aiming Laser Pointer at Helicopter

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Tony Maples Photography


When Obama signed a new law in 2012, pointing a laser at aircrafts became a federal offense. CNN quoted the Transportation Security Administration who says that the shine of a laser is like the “equivalent of a camera flash going off in a pitch black car at night.” This means it can be incredibly disorienting and extremely dangerous for everyone on board of the aircraft by hindering the pilot’s vision. Sometimes the laser can even burn the pilot’s corneas.

Last week, 25-year-old San Antonio resident Christopher B. Evans received his sentence for shining a laser pointer at a local news helicopter. He pled guilty to the crime. According to KSAT, he will now spend “eight months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release.”

Laser strikes are an ongoing issue since laser pointers are very easy to acquire. It’s estimated there are about 10.5 incidents a day in the U.S., and San Antonio ranks in the top 15 cities dealing with this issue. In 2015 alone, the city received almost 100 reports of lasers pointed at aircrafts.

If you see anyone pointing a laser toward a plane or helicopter, you can report the incident to the FBI online.