Teen arrested for pointing laser light at planes

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Teen arrested for pointing laser light at planes

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PHOENIX - The Federal Aviation Administration says more and more people are shining bright lights at pilots.

That can temporarily blind or distract a crew at the most important time of flight that is take-off and landing. "It's incredibly dangerous," admits James Homes with the Phoenix Police Dept. "If you shine a light at an aircraft, we're going to find you and take you to jail."

That is just what police did when they arrested 19-year-old Vincent Bodin on Monday night. Police say it started on Sunday when pilots for two Southwest Airlines planes reported being hit by green lasers while approaching Sky Harbor International Airport. Doug Steele, also with Phoenix PD says, "These guys are reporting as far out as 4 miles from the laser light getting hit."

You can imagine how bright, blinding and dangerous that light is for an airline pilot carrying hundreds of passengers. That is the reason why the Phoenix Police Air Unit was called out to search for the suspect on Sunday and Monday. On both occasions the police pilot, too, was hit by the laser light.

Steele says, "The light will actually impair our visionIt puts us in danger as well as citizens on the ground."

In this case officers recovered from the light and managed to follow it. Steele explains, "Did a little air surveillance looking for the laser lightsure enough they were bright enough to do it again so we were able to pinpoint where it was coming from."

Police say Bodin was in a backyard in Tempe flashing the laser light. Phoenix Police hovered over head until Tempe police officers arrived, taking the 19-year-old into custody. He could face both local and federal charges.