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Phoenix Police arrest suspect after aircraft laser strikes

11/16/16

PHOENIX – The Phoenix Police Department announced on Monday that an arrest has been made in connection with multiple aircraft laser strikes.

Phoenix Police reported that during the past week, there have been several laser strikes of light aircraft in the same area near the west Phoenix/Glendale city borders. These aircraft were generally on approach or departing from Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport or Deer Valley Regional Airport.

According to the Nov. 14 release, officers from the Phoenix Police Air Support Unit began an investigation and were able to narrow down a likely, specific location from where the laser strikes were coming.  During a joint operation with Glendale Police Department, officers were able to witness a suspect point a laser at a helicopter that was flying nearby. 

This suspect was contacted by officers at this location, his home, and he was taken into custody. The suspect made statements admitting his involvement in the strikes. In their media release, Phoenix Police noted that this case was an excellent example of the coordination and cooperation that valley law enforcement agencies enjoy.

The release also stressed again how dangerous it is to point lasers at aircraft. Lasers, when pointed at an aircraft, can illuminate an entire flight deck and blind pilots and crew.

“Interfering with the safe operation of an aircraft is extremely dangerous and can have dire consequences for the personnel on the plane and people on the ground. It is also a felony; a felony that valley law enforcement agencies take seriously. The bottom line? Don’t do it!” the release concluded.