Teen in custody for pointing laser light at police aircraft

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

PHOENIX – A 14-year-old boy was arrested for allegedly pointing a laser light at police aircraft.

Detective James Holmes, with the Phoenix Police Department, tells 3TV that Officer Langsmith, a pilot, and Officer DeCosta, an observer, were on air patrol on Monday at about 1 a.m. near 12th Street and Cave Creek Road. The officers say they were hit with a green laser from the ground that managed to light up the cockpit.

The light reportedly blurred the pilot’s vision and he was forced to make an immediate landing at an elementary school.

A second air crew replaced Officer Langsmith and Officer DeCosta and their aircraft was flown back to the Deer Valley Airport. The suspect in that incident was not located.

The second incident took place the following day on Tuesday at about 8 p.m. in the area of 3300 North 62nd Drive. Officer Linehan and Officer Bolin were on air patrol helping search for a felony suspect when their aircraft was hit with a red laser from the ground.

The officers on the aircraft were able to locate the source of the light. Ground patrols provided assistance and were able to locate the 14-year-old suspect and a friend.

The teen reportedly admitted to pointing the laser light at the aircraft and said he knew it belonged to police. The suspect was arrested and is at the Juvenile Correction Center awaiting aggravated assault charges to be filed.

Officer Langsmith suffered residual impairment of vision and is slowly recovering.