Man Sentenced For Pointing Laser At Helicopter
A Man From El Cajon Was Sentenced To Eight Months In Prison For Pointing A Green Laser At A Police Helicopter; Authorities Say Laser Strikes Are A Serious Threat To Pilots.
Last Updated: 1226 days ago
A 39-year-old man who pointed a bright green laser at a San Diego police helicopter was sentenced Monday to eight months in state prison.Timothy Allen, who pleaded guilty last month to discharging a laser at an occupied aircraft, was handed an additional two years and eight months behind bars for two unrelated cases involving receipt of stolen property, possession of a deadly weapon and vehicle theft."Laser strikes may seen harmless, but pilots take them very seriously," said District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. "I hope this case will educate the public about the law and the very real dangers associated with this kind of activity."Last November, the San Diego Police Department helicopter ABLE 3 (Airborne Law Enforcement) was the target of a series of laser strikes coming from a residence in southeast San Diego.The ABLE pilots tried, but were unsuccessful, in pinpointing the source of the laser.During the same period, the control tower at Lindbergh Field confirmed several commercial jets reporting green laser strikes in their cockpits while approaching the airport.On Nov. 26, ABLE pilots returned to the area where they again experienced laser strikes and were successful in determining the source of the laser, leading to Allen's arrest.According to authorities, laser strikes have become an increasing problem for pilots. Depending on the strength of the laser and the altitude of the aircraft, even low-power lasers can distract and even temporarily blind pilots flying at low levels or attempting to land. The glare from the laser can make it impossible for a pilot landing an airplane to see the runway.Pointing a laser at an aircraft carries a penalty of up to three years in state prison.