13-Year-Old Charged With Spotlighting Helicopter

PARKVILLE, Md. (AP) — Authorities say the pilots of a Maryland State Police helicopter were temporarily blinded by a laser pointer, and a 13-year-old boy has been charged in the incident. 

It happened Sunday about 8:30 p.m. when the helicopter, with two pilots and a flight paramedic on board, was on a training mission over Baltimore County. Troopers say the cockpit was illuminated with a bright green flash of light, which was held on the cockpit. 

The pilots recovered their night vision and were able to see where the laser beam was coming from. Troopers called Baltimore County Police and directed officers to the house where the suspect ran. 

The 13-year-old is charged with reckless endangerment and laser pointer misuse. He was released to his parents. 

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

  • What?

    Why on earth do parents buy these things for their kids? I’m sure it’s everyone’s fault but theirs.

    • Hairy Herry

      It’s for this reason and others that Arkansas keeps those under 16 from buying lazer pointers. I would love to keep these out of the hands of drunks too. One punk at a club almost got his arse handed to him by Yours Truly

    • Duane

      Maybe they did buy it for him

      • Duane

        Typo. Maybe they did not buy it

  • williejoe

    These helicopters & their training missions are a big pain in the a$$. They’re out flying 11pm at night & sometimes for an hour or more. Don’t they ever consider the people that are trying to get their rest & who pay for their freakin cowboy tactics?there sometimes

    • fraught

      Just because it bugs you, we’ll keep pressuring the police to double up on the training missions. Sleep tight homey.

    • Laura

      Williejoe, Do you understand that this was a medevac helicopter? I truly hope you are never in such a horrific accident that requires the use of the medevac. If you are however, be forever grateful that they perform these training missions, because they are the ones that will likely save your life.

      • matt

        laura i was trying to say the same ( but wjz would not let me post) thing people like williejoe just don’t get it the medevac do there training missions to get better for saveing peoples life and i know for a fact they don’t do training mission at 11pm and if you can’t sleep with a helicopter flying around then hes a light sleeper probaly a hillbilly

      • Spencer

        I couldn’t have said it better myself!

      • sven

        it was no training mission, they were either out for donuts or helping some state representative propose to his girlfriend.

        Leave the kid alone.

        What was the INTENT????

    • chuck

      Right on, Willle…even at 3am…..now that Baltimore County police has the Blue/white copter my house is literally shaken at least twice a day. No respect for citizens quality of lIfe…..

      • chuck

        @Matt..hillbilly? obviously, you never passed grammar school! ….. “peoples”; “saveing”…….what is a “peoples”?

      • AT

        No respect? What are you talking about? If police helicopters fly over your house on a regular basis, you obviously live somewhere near Baltimore. Get used to it or move. Stop whining.

      • SMH

        Well Chuck, when you or someone you love need this service at 3 am, please remember to tell the pilots to approach quietly or wait till a more reasonable hour.
        BTW, the training mission in this article took place at 8:30 pm.

      • david

        hey chuck like AT if you do’nt like it then move and stop whining about it you probaly live right by the airport that these helicopters stay at the helicopters are there to serve a purpose they are there to help and protect the citizens and that comment you said ” No respect for citizens quality of life ” just so that you think your better then everybody else your probaly a kid still in highschool acting like a hard ass which your not oh and i know matt been friends for years and as a matter of fact yes he did pass grammer school and he probaly has a better career then you if your not in school and probaly makes more money being a docotor

    • Gambrills Mopar Man

      Obviously you just got your kids laser pointers. Remember to keep them off planes, helicopters and street vehicles. Also hope that in the event that you need a trip in a flying vehicle, no pointer blinds your pilot….

  • Bill

    I think it is absolutely amazing that a 10 dollar lazer could paralyze a million dollar helicopter. I would have thought that by now they would have devised a screen to defelct such nonsense?

    • craig

      why ruin a 13 years olds life over this come on people.

      • James

        Why? because he endangered the lives of everyone aboard the helicopter, that’s why. His life is not ruined. he was charged and released to his parents.

      • baltimore resident

        lets see what happens if they shine it in your eyes while driving a car, then tell me how it would feel, it’s already happened to me and it was not a fun experience, almost killed myself couldn’t see a thing and almost ran into another car, was on the highway and some ass shined one out a car at me, so I can believe what would happen to a pilot.

      • craig

        i have had a light shined on me by an officer taking radar and i didnt crash. I am not saying its ok. whats next a government panel on laser pointers.

      • AT

        @craig – He chose to endanger the lives of the pilot, and anyone on the ground that could have been impacted by a crash. Get a clue.

      • tylerjake

        Hey Craig, how would you feel if you were on that helicopter and someone did that to you?! He should be severely punished!

      • sheriff willie

        Craig, its you & people of your ilk that is the reason the kids today get a pass on everything. Much easier to say yes & get along or to say NO & have to explain the consequences. Get your head out of your a$$ or your girlfriend / wife’s chest.

      • MjF

        What if it lost control and crashed into your house? Ill bet you would be the first person out for 13 year old blood. I guess its OK untill it happens to you right?

      • T

        Craig – It’s illegal.. And hopefully this is a big lesson learned for this kid. Life ruined? Please. Could have been much, much worse.

        Bill – yeah, it’s the medivacs fault because they didn’t prevent it.Gimme a break.

      • OurFarms-OurFuture

        You know what would have ruined his life?? If the helicopter pilot didn’t recover from the distraction and had to crashland the helicopter ironically on that kid’s house; that’s what would have ruined his life. Now.. not only could that have happened to the kid’s house, it could have happened to anybody’s house in the surrounding area. Get real please, thanks.

  • matt

    because craig your not aloud to shine laser pointers at helicopters or planes its against the law it can blind the pilots eyes and cause them to crash so come on craig common sense

  • Courtney

    These lasers can cause severe concusions as well as temporary blindness. If the copter would have crashed into someone’s house due to this, would you ask why ruin a 13 yr olds life? Pay attention to what our kids do.

    • craig

      People shine them in out pets eyes and tease them but do you hear PETA writting comments.

      • tylerjake

        Hey Craig, you’re an uneducated dumb dumb. Go back to collecting welfare and watching the world go by.

      • John

        Craig, pets are animals, human life was at stake which is more important then the animals.

      • craig

        iz sorry sir . iz promice iz bee gud. i didnt know uz be soo mad

  • baltimore resident

    just outlaw the damn things and get it over with, I mean what did people do before a laser pointer, technology is not making things better it is making it worse, I mean people can’t even go to the toilet with a cell phone stuck to their ear now, how did we even survive before the invention of these laser points and cell phones and ipods, sure convenience is one thing, but some people just take it to an extreme

    • Baltimore

      Wow…. do you want the goverment to outlaw underwear too!!!

      • craig

        the best post of the article

    • AT

      Go to Australia if you like banning stuff.


      Just like weed and cocaine are outlawed and illegal right??? And how many drug addicts are walking around???GET A GRIP

  • Beth

    Children live what they learn–obviously these parents have issues: 1) Why does the child own a laser pointer 2) If it was 11pm why wasn’t he in his bed asleep? Obviously, at 13 he should know better, but where were the parents, and why aren’t they keeping watch over their 13 year old. Thankfully, no one was hurt, this situation could have been catastrophic.

    • Baltimore

      Wow….You must not have children!!!!

      • Donna Breach Weitz

        Not sure what that means “Baltimore.” I do have children & they are expected to behave, and make appropriate choices, if not there are steep consequences. Unfortunatley, many people w/children these days are just as bad as children themselves! Guess you think this is someone elses’ fault? Take responsibility for your kids-not make excuses!!!

      • tylerjake

        WOW, Baltimore sounds like your kids use you as a doormat!

    • Duane

      It was 8:30, not 11pm. Do you really expect parent to keep watch over him 24 hours?

  • frank coffee

    Obama needs to appoint a laser tsar .

  • Bubbles

    The kid should have been in bed and I don’t see what he needed a laser pointer for anyway. And the idiot comment asking another poster if that person had children….makes me wonder if the idiot poster let’s his/her children run amok all hours too. The point is this: parents are responsible, child of 13 is responsible and at the age of accountability, a catastrophic accident possibly involving death was a real possibility in this case, and the kid should be punished
    harshly. Period. A line was crossed here. And who was the one that was worried about this kid’s life being ruined? The people in the copter could have had their lives ruined along with the lives of their families. Where are the minds at today people?! Quit taking the stupid pills. Let’s bring back accountability and trips to the woodshed. This is one case where this child need not have the rod spared.

  • williejoe

    Must be a slow day on this thread. Outside of Willie-Don croaking, nothing but a bunch of mumble jumble. On the matter of the 13 yr old, he needs some lessons in accountability & I would presume his parents needs likewise in parenting. So many parents today do not know what their kids are up to, who tehy are with & frankly even give a s…t. These are parents of the Y generation who always were asking Y -do OI need to clean my room, Y- do I need to get a job, Y- do I have to go to school? Complete wankers with no souls.

  • obamacare

    frank coffees mom needs to appoint a belt to his arse

  • tylerjake

    The worthless parents also need to be charged.

  • Doug

    Ha,Ha !!
    And thought it was some foreigner terrorist.
    Ha Ha.
    A little scared little boy with a laser .
    Look !!
    We have way too many cops flying around in expensive helicopters,
    We CAN NOT afford.
    There are many Army copters that could do this service,
    that we are also paying for.
    Our government must think we’re rich like China.
    We are not.

    • matt

      lol i said the same thing

    • matt

      omg here is this dumb ass idiot

    • AT

      Are you that idiotic? Medevac choppers are part of EVERY police force. They are for rescues, and for finding criminals. Get a clue you idiot.

      • matt

        AT. every comment doug post it seems like he has no brain in his head or he does not think about what hes goin to say or type people who post on wjz have asked him over and over again to stop posting because of the dumb stuff he post

      • AT

        He’s probably some dumb drunken redneck from western MD.

  • jack johnson

    give the kids the cheap ones, not the high powered green ones

  • pigeon

    For all of you who don’t want to do anything but complain about something, I hope and pray you never need emergency assistance. I am sure the local and state police do this all hours of the day and night just to aggitate you personally. I guess you even complain when emergency vehicles comes into your neighbor with their sirens and/or lights “blinking” ’cause that too would make noise and or you will have lights flashing ink your window.
    Get real!

    • matt

      i totally agree with you these people are here to help and all everybody does is complain

  • andy botwin

    amok amok amok

  • So Sad

    I can’t believe there are people on here defending this kid. 13 years old is old enough to know better. Most parents now a days, not all, but most parents don’t belong having kids. I belive most have them just so they can collect another monthly check. Yes, I live in the city and see it all the time. Little kids out on the street, no parents to watch them, becuase they don’t care. Those who are hard working, honest people get the boot. But thugs, drug addicts and baby makers are handed the world, in other words, part of my paycheck. I think this youngster should be taught a really good lesson, and so should the parents. I’d be interested to see if this 13 yr old has a record. I’d bet $100.00 he does!!! But I guess none of that matters, he’s ONLY 13!!!

    • matt

      i agree with you you nailed it right on the spot people think it’s ok what he did and its not

  • amy w

    These things should be outlawed.. there is no use for them. Period. IF parents do get these for kids and kids use them to harm others in any way or point at aircraft the kids and parents should ALL be charged. I hope they fine the parents in this instance and put the kid in juvey for a while

  • sheriff willie

    This little punk turd needs to have the s….t kicked out of him.

  • craig

    i can’t believe the people on this thread are bad mouthing the parents. Are you able to monitor all ypur childrens activities. We don’t know the story about this boy. He made a mistake. do we think that when a person does something bad one time we are ready to throw them to the sharks AKA the people in this thread. HEY FOLKS LIGHTEN UP. i know its wrong but people have such anger. don’t worry 2012 will be here soon or better yet just go to a movie and get away for 2 hours

    • craig

      i forgot for you stoner hippies happy 420. If you don’t know you well, water

  • couldcarelessin baltimore

    I agree he should be punished, but HOW?? Jail time, community service etc. Lets be realistic here. He is a 13 year old child and although he may know right from wrong, he clearly did not understand the dangers of pointing a laser at the helicopter( if he was pointing it purposley at the helicopter). I agree with the above it’s a parenting issue, where he probably should not have it in the first place. Since he does now we move on. I dont think this EVENT should cause him to start having a criminal background. Education and awarness for both him and his parents seems more beneficial…

    • craig

      very well put. See people do make cents here. Ha Ha

      • Hairy Herry

        The bankers and lawyers make cents.

  • Tyler Gore

    Will everybody stop arguing…it was a training mission and a boy thats 1 year younger than me pointed a laser pointer at a helicopter..sure he deserved that but the police and the boy have a side of thier story

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