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Arrest made after lasers pointed at aircraft


PHOENIX – A 26-year-old Phoenix resident was arrested on July 1 after reportedly pointing a laser at aircraft that was approaching the Deer Valley Airport.

According to a release from the Phoenix Police Department, on the evening of July 1, Phoenix Police Air Unit pilots were notified by Deer Valley Airport of a person pointing a green laser at aircraft approaching the airport. The general area of the laser was indicated to be near Bell Road and 19th Ave.

“The police pilots went to the area, climbed to around 3,000 feet and acted as if on approach to the airport, and the helicopter was immediately hit with the green laser,” the Phoenix Police report stated.

After that, the pilots were able to guide patrol officers to an apartment complex on 19th Ave. that was surmised to be the source of the laser strikes. An officer observed Scott Hines pointing a green laser at the police helicopter. Hines was subsequently arrested and booked into jail on four counts of endangerment, one count each for the two police pilots and two pilots of a twin engine fixed wing airplane that was hit by the laser.

The release noted that the Phoenix Police pilots had headaches and were seeing spots due to the laser strikes. Lasers are considered extremely dangerous when pointed at aircraft, since the light they create can be very distracting and blinding for pilots. Phoenix Police is asking everyone to remember that pointing a laser at an operational aircraft is very dangerous and that it’s a criminal offense with serious consequences.