Claiming he didn’t know it was against the law to point a laser light beam at an aircraft, Florida man Brian Harting decided to point his red laser at a police helicopter this past Sunday at approximately 2:30am, according to multiple reports.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office had its helicopter in the air on patrol when it spotted an controlled fire. As it circled the area waiting for deputies to arrive to check on the fire, Harting, 48, shined his laser on the helicopter three times.
Harting, from Clearwater, was soon himself approached by deputies and arrested for Felony Misuse of a Laser Lighting Device, a third degree felony in Florida.
Not only is pointing a laser at any aircraft illegal, but it’s also dangerous as it can illuminate the cockpit and possibly distract or disorient the pilots.
Harting, who was arrested for heroin position earlier this month and was released pending trial, is currently in the Pinellas County Jail awaiting trial. None of the allegations against Harting have been proven in court.