Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mission, Texas: Man accused of pointing laser at Department of Public Safety helicopter pilot

A Mission man is accused of pointing a laser at a Department of Public Safety (DPS) helicopter, which temporarily blinded the pilot.

Omar Pina found himself in trouble with the law after aiming the green laser at a flying marked DPS helicopter, documents reveal.

The alleged crime happened on August 13th in Mission.

The pilot and co-pilot were conducting operations near Rancho del Rey Street when the “intensity of the light” impaired the pilots control of the helicopter momentarily, a criminal complaint explains.

Ground patrol responded to the residence where two men were seen standing outside.

That’s when DPS asked the homeowner for consent to search the home.

DPS found a small flashlight, which emitted a green laser light, underneath a couch cushion.

When authorities interviewed Pina, he allegedly told them he was shining the laser on trees.

Pina was arrested and charged with illumination of aircraft by intense light, a Class A misdemeanor.

The 20-year-old was booked into the Hidalgo County jail on the charge.

Incidents like this are called a laser strike and it's a federal crime punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Story, Photos and Comments:

Omar Pina // Hidalgo County Jail

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