Teen Charged After Pointing Laser At Chopper

PARKVILLE, Md. (WJZ) — It could have been a catastrophe in mid-air–two Maryland State Police chopper pilots were blinded by a laser light.

Suzanne Collins reports the person responsible was tracked to a Parkville home and arrested.

A Maryland State Police chopper flight crew averted disaster this week during a training mission. The pilots were suddenly blinded by the intense light of a laser pointer.

“This is potentially lethal. Parents, as well as people who own these pointers, need to understand this is not a game, a video game, this is serious business,” said Walter Kerr, aviation commander.

A 13-year-old from Parkville has been charged with reckless endangerment. The chopper wasn’t on an emergency detail, so it turned around and tracked down the location of the green light to a specific house. Baltimore County Police moved in.

When the flight crew is out at night, their pupils are dilated for night vision. Suddenly they get a flash of green. Their pupils contract and for a moment they are blinded.

“The beam will light up the entire cockpit and make it impossible to see outside, which is extremely dangerous when flying around objects in a populated area,” said Chris Tappan, paramedic.

The light doesn’t lose intensity over distance and can even hurt human eyes at the level the choppers fly. It reflects gauges and other shiny parts of the cockpit, causing a big flash.

In an instant the pilots are incapacitated in what they can see and do, and they’re travelling 175 miles per hour across the sky.

The problem is affecting other police agencies, private pilots and even large aircraft. Police say it’s happening more and more.

So police ask parents to tell their children light misuse is a violation of the law and it could kill people.

The 13-year-old boy has not been identified. He is charged as a juvenile.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Doug says:

    Look.
    Glad no one was hurt.
    Brings to mind just how expensive helicopters are.
    VERY !!
    We are over taxed,as it is.
    Try doing with half the current fleet.
    Many of these accidents could be transported in the same amount of time
    by road.
    And by the way, Maryland is NOT Alaska.
    You can access just about anywhere in Maryland by vehicle or boat.
    This was all fine during the boom years,but now we should rethink this.
    We the people of Maryland simply can’t afford the state spending like we’re all millionaire’s .Not just helicopters,Every branch of government.
    My view

    1. paramedic says:

      hey doug your not real smart are i guess not are you in the fire department that use the state police helicopter i guess not because let me tell you something when theres a bad accident lets say in cecil co harford co and a trauma center is 30 mins or longer away from the accdient they are not going to drive have you ever heard of the golden hour if they drive to a hospital thats 30 mins away or longer you have to think about traffic or red lights that can make the trip even longer and the person will not live so they fly them and when they fly them it takes like 15 mins instead of 30 y ou need to rethink about what you post they use the copters to get a person to a trauma ct faster

      1. Taylor says:

        @paramedic…

        Seriously friend… you start your post saying “hey doug your not real smart..” and from tere, it is just illegible jibberish.

        I have a suggestion. Before you go and call people stupid you should learn to read and write the English language.

        While I o not fully agree with Doug’s comment, the only “stupid” I see on here is you Paramedic!

      2. Brian says:

        hey paramedic, I hope you can read better then your spelling! I hate to end up with the wrong IV or a shot in the arm. As for Doug, he has a valid point. Maryland should consider options like other states. Maryland regulates the insurance business. Its very possible to impower the state insurance commisioner to make insurance companies cover private and commerical air transportation like so many other states without state government helicopters. Look at the size of North Dakota yet all the helo’s are privately owned and the coverage in written into their sate law to where the insurance must cover. Maryland has way too much government, way too many police. I can drive 5 miles and I’ll pass state, county, transportation authority, DNR, campus police, HUD sponsered police that patorl the porjects, sheriff, not including all the dofferent federal law enforcement types all around Maryland. This state seems more like a police state were the average Joe citizen in the minority here yet crime is still has high as it always been!.

      3. kramm says:

        Where did you learn to write????

      4. Cameron says:

        …,,,!!!

        There’s some punctuation for you.

  2. EDDIE says:

    TELL LOCAL JUDGES THAT IT SHOULD BE AGAINST THE LAW TO SHINE A LASER LIGHT AT ANY VEHICLES WHILE DRIVING. THE JUDGES DON’T TAKE THIS SITUATION IN CONSIDERATION OF A SPEEDING TICKET RECEIVED FROM A RADAR SPEED TICKET TRAP ON THE ROADS. THEY WON’T DO A THING ABOUT IT UNTIL SOMEONE IS KILLED WHEN GETTING BLINDED WHILE TRAVELING OVER 50 MILES A HOUR ON A HIGH SPEED ROAD. IT SHOULD BE STOPPED NOW.

    1. sheriff willie says:

      It is against the law to shine a laser into any type of aircraft.

    2. Deputy Dog says:

      Are you implying that LASER speed measuring devices used by police are blinding drivers? If so, the lasers those units use are very low level and pulse making them invisible and completely eye safe. So, I wouldn’t use that as your next defense in traffic court…just sayin.

      1. Dusty Shook says:

        It’s not the laser it is the flash of the camera taking the picture for the ticket. While traveling home from BWI I was flashed by one of theses camera’s and it is ideed momentarily blinding!

      2. bo says:

        dusty on 295? if so have fun with your double the fine ticket speeding in a work zone and yeah the flash is bright but you have to be doing 70 to set the camera off by BWI

  3. Susan says:

    Not too bright are you? We’ll transport you by vehicle or boat when time is of the essence. I’ll take the helicopter.

  4. sven says:

    The article states “it could have been” but it wasn’t and they certainly had enough vision to find the little kid using this device. Was there any intent involved?

    Why are the Maryland State Police joy riding around rather than showing off their shiny boots and hats while writing tickets and drinking coffee on our highways?

    If these devices are so dangerous, why can consumers purchase them in any dollar store?

    Hats off to Suzanne Collins for bringing this little nugget to the attention of nutzo’s all across the state and kudo’s to the State Police for arresting a 13 year old child.

    1. matt says:

      and it said after they got there vision back is when they seen the kid running back to his house

      1. sven says:

        going at 175 MPH??

  5. matt says:

    hey sven baltimore county police arrested the kid not state police and its against the law so go back and read the article again this is what it said “It could have been a catastrophe in mid-air–two Maryland State Police chopper pilots were blinded by a laser light.” oh and by the way it said baltimore county police moved in

    1. sven says:

      Typical STATE POLICE move, getting anther agency to do their work!!

      I guess they were late for the Krispy Kreme donuts.

      1. bo says:

        Obvious troll is obvious

  6. sven says:

    “COULD HAVE BEEN” a lot of things COULD HAVE BEEN!

    Was there an eye doctor on board to verify this claim or is this another fabrication by the MARYLAND STATE POLICE?

    MSP do this daily.

    1. matt says:

      your really a freaking idiot you know that laser pointers can blind there eyes dumb ass and heres the thing they are state police state they where in the air they called for baltimore co on the groud LASER POINTERS BLIND POILTS IF ITS THE POLICE OR planes you can’t point them at any helicopters or planes IDIOT you don’t know anything do you probaly a kid

      1. bo says:

        Matt Sven is a troll he has to make up stuff to get people talking because he has a short fall so don’t feed the trolls and they will go away

        Obvious troll is obvious

  7. D b says:

    Yeah he was our neighbor. We were here for the whole thing. Helicopter. 5 squad cars and whole cuffing and charging. Quite an interesting nite.

  8. williejoe says:

    Kid needs to have the snot beat out of him.& then the parents turn.

  9. sheriff willie says:

    This kid is now a hero with his buddies & is probably bragging about his great exploits.

  10. Wllharrington says:

    This , among other reasons, gives good cause for publicizing the name of teens who commit criminal acts. Not identifying them gives them a sense of invulnerability and allows them to commit other acts with impunity. Let the pulic and their neighbors and friends KNOW who they are harboring. THEY WILL SERVE AS AN EXTENSION OF THE POLICE FOR THEY WILL WATCH THESE YOUNG PEOPLE FOR FURTHER CRIMINAL ACTS.

  11. williejoe says:

    It’s garbage like him & his breeders that are running down a once nice Parkville. I hate you thugs & vermin.

  12. Your Panties says:

    It will all be okay, In The End. Somebody’s End.

  13. MELINDA says:

    TO DOUG:
    I WOULD NOT BE ALIVE TODAY IF IT WAS NOT FOR A MED- VAC HELICOPTER, I SEND THANK YOU’S TO EVERY ONE THAT IS IN THIS LINE OF WORK, IN MY OPINION THEY ARE TRUE HEROES FOR WHAT THEY DO.IS MY LIFE INOT WORTH WHAT ONE OF THESE MACHINES COST? MY FAMILY THINKS IT IS , IS YOURS?

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