sara sotin via Flickr creative commons
There are a few good uses for a laser pointer, from leveling a shelf to wearing out your hyper dogs at the end of a long day. Pointing it toward the sky at any aircraft is not one of those uses.
A 25-year-old San Antonio man learned that the hard way this week. According to federal prosecutors, Christopher Evans pleaded guilty to shining a laser pointer at a news helicopter flying north of the San Antonio International Airport last October (the feds didn't say what news station got hit). When he goes before a judge for sentencing in December, Evans could face up to five years in prison.
Rest assured the feds take such so-called "lasing" incidents very seriously, particularly in San Antonio, which prosecutors say is among the top cities for "laser strikes" on aircraft. "According to the FBI, in 2015, San Antonio ranked among the top 15 cities in the nation for laser strikes, with almost 100 reported," the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement Tuesday. "Laser strikes can blind pilots of airborne aircraft, jeopardizing the lives of persons aboard."