Friday, November 27, 2020

Virginia woman pleads guilty to directing laser pointer at police plane

RICHMOND, Virginia -- A 33-year-old Henrico woman faces up to five years in prison for aiming a laser pointer at a police airplane during the period of social unrest in Richmond.

Amanda Robinson pleaded guilty in federal court Monday, according to the United States Attorney's Office.

"According to court documents, on June 4, Robinson traveled to the Robert E. Lee Monument traffic circle located in Richmond. While at the traffic circle, Robinson pointed her laser pointer at a 2006 Cessna aircraft flying above her location operated by police officers of the Metropolitan Aviation Unit," according to the U.S. Attorney. "The Metropolitan Aviation Unit officers were conducting aerial surveillance patrols during a period of civil unrest. In aiming the laser pointer, Robinson struck the aircraft on at least two separate occasions and disrupted the pilot’s vision. Using an onboard camera, the police officers identified Robinson as the individual aiming the laser pointer and directed police units to her location. Upon arriving to the Robert E. Lee Monument traffic circle, police patrol units detained Robinson and recovered a green laser pointer from her possession."

Robinson is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23, 2021.

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