The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office accused a 10-year-old boy of shining a green laser light at one of its airplanes on March 7 during a flight over Parlier, California (video below).
In the police video of the incident, one of the deputies is heard saying, "Looks like probably a little kid."
According to a statement on the Fresno County Sheriff’s website, the laser light flashed repeatedly in the cockpit while the fixed-wing plane was flying at 5,000 feet. The tactical flight officer was able to locate the boy allegedly using the laser with an onboard camera system.
Sheriff’s deputies contacted police in Parlier, who went to a home where they found a boy and his father.
The police allege the boy was shining the laser beam from the home's backyard. Police confiscated the laser, which has a range of 5 miles.
The boy was not arrested, but a police report with a criminal charge -- pointing a laser at an airplane -- was forwarded to the district attorney’s office and juvenile probation.
The sheriff’s office notes that the area where the laser was shined is a flight path used by commercial aircraft to land at Fresno Yosemite International Airport, and might have created a hazard for pilots.
The Fresno air traffic tower reported 31 incidents of aircraft laser strikes in the area in 2016.
The reactions to the story were mixed on the Fresno County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page:
Throw the book at him, and let the Juvenile Court appropriately modify his punishment and dismiss the matter after he serves his penance. I think helping clean up the Parlier park one or two Saturdays would do him wonders. Maybe dad should join him.
I guess the kid even didn't knew what he was playing with has a laser beam. He probably thought it was some kind of flashlight.
I usually come down pretty hard in these cases. In this one, I'd defer to the FSO as to whether to charge this kid.
Good....I hope he goes to juvenile hall for a month or two.....
Lets not forget this is a 10 year old kid who probably didn't know the seriousness of pointing a laser at a plane.
I think it's awesome that parents allow their kids to have lasers that can blind their blind people. NOT!
Why a kid has a powerful laser is beyond me. We're the stores out of game consoles? Smh. very dangerous for our guys.
Good job locating FSO.