Man shines laser at CHP chopper over San Miguel

August 22, 2013

P6CVQ.AuSt.76San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies arrested a man in San Miguel Tuesday night for shining a laser into the cockpit of a California Highway Patrol helicopter. [KSBY]

The CHP helicopter crew noticed the high-intensity green laser around 10:15 p.m. Tuesday and asked the sheriff’s office to respond.

Investigators tracked the beam to the 600 block of 11th Street in San Miguel and deputies found Emilio Montenegro, 28, in the area.

Montenegro is charged with willfully and maliciously discharging a laser at an occupied aircraft while in flight.

Laser exposure can cause blindness, distraction, disorientation and severe eye injuries, in addition to posing a safety hazard to aviation, according to the CHP.

 


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10 Comments

  1. SKPTYK says:

    Not to mention, Lasers are also used as aiming devices for weapons. Aiming a laser pointer at an officer could very well get you shot.

    (1) 1 Total Votes - 1 up - 0 down
  2. SpeakTruth says:

    If the pilot thought he was in any danger of falling out of the sky because of this guy’s laser pointer, I doubt that he would have circled the suspect for the ~15 minutes that it took a deputy to arrive on scene.

    (-2) 2 Total Votes - 0 up - 2 down
  3. Citizen says:

    Lasers can damage eyes, even at a long distance. http://www.livescience.com/21707-lasers-eye-damage.html Besides, little Emilio had 4 outstanding warrants “Since 2010, Montenegro has failed appear in court for the following allegations: felony and misdemeanor possession of controlled substances, felony grand theft of property exceeding $950, and misdemeanor spousal battery, court documents show.”

    Read more here: http://www.sanluisobispo.com/2013/08/21/2644074/laser-point-helicopter-arrest.html#storylink=cpy

    (7) 7 Total Votes - 7 up - 0 down
  4. r0y says:

    “Laser exposure can cause blindness, distraction, disorientation and severe eye injuries, in addition to posing a safety hazard to aviation, according to the CHP.” … even though NO PILOT ever suffered blindness or severe injury. Ever.

    There is one instance of a Jet Blue pilot getting “hit” with a green laser while approaching landing… but… nothing really happened and he landed the plane. BUT IT MADE GREAT NEWS!

    Then there’s:
    “It is common for people to see a bright flash of light and think that they are injured when they really are not. The ophthalmologist has to be somewhat leery of what caused the injury. Was it caused by a laser? Or are you observing a visual anomaly that has been there all along? I recommend referring these patients to an ophthalmologist who has experience with this type of injury.” — Laser injury expert Bruce Stuck, director of the U.S. Army Medical Research Detachment of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research at Brooks Air Force Base.

    Basically, it’s about as “dangerous” as a searchlight or spotlight, but it’s a great way for “authorities” to jump all over a private citizen.

    (-15) 27 Total Votes - 6 up - 21 down
    • SLOChildrenAtPlay says:

      r0y: “Basically, it’s about as “dangerous” as a searchlight or spotlight, but it’s a great way for “authorities” to jump all over a private citizen.”

      Well you know what “r0y?” It’s about as “dangerous” as shining anything into the eyes of a pilot who is flying an aircraft over a residential neighborhood. Is that not DANGEROUS enough for you? Do you do anything in your life much more daring than your daily attempt to walk upright? Perhaps even driving a car? Well I can tell you that piloting an aircraft (ESPECIALLY a helicopter) is far more complicated than walking upright or driving a car. So I am sure happy when the “authorities” take every opportunity they have to “jump all over” the private citizens who are so stupid as to shine anything into the eyes of pilots flying overhead.

      (11) 19 Total Votes - 15 up - 4 down
      • pasoparent5 says:

        r0y brings up some good points, though. Why was the CHP even circling the guy’s neighborhood at 10:15 at night? Did the accused know it was a CHP chopper? How long did he allegedly point the laser at the chopper? Seconds? Minutes? Was the pilot’s ability to fly in jeopardy?

        r0y gives some strong supporting evidence that this could’ve been blown out of proportion. Yes, piloting an aircraft is complicated and no, the guy shouldn’t have been messing w/a laser…but what can you offer to back up your concerns?

        (-6) 14 Total Votes - 4 up - 10 down
      • r0y says:

        Wow, project much?

        (-1) 1 Total Votes - 0 up - 1 down
    • udontknow says:

      Roy you have a hatred for authority and the law. I bet you are the kind of person that calls the police on your neighbor because you do not know how to get along with others. I beat you at our last debate, remember.

      (-5) 15 Total Votes - 5 up - 10 down
      • Rambunctious says:

        You know what I hate? those ridiculously incredibly bright lights on some of these new cars that are popular today…talk about a laser beam…

        (13) 13 Total Votes - 13 up - 0 down
      • r0y says:

        Yes, you’ve completely nailed me to a “T” there, doc. Excellent, in-depth analysis. Thank you for adding to whatever discussion people were trying to have here. Your comments, as well-thought out and eloquent as they are, are truly valuable to the thinking person.

        Congratulations.

        (-1) 3 Total Votes - 1 up - 2 down

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