Wednesday, December 21, 2022

He didn’t like aircraft over his home — so he pointed lasers at police helicopters, cops say

A North Miami man is facing state and federal charges after being accused of pointing a laser at U.S. Coast Guard and Miami-Dade County police helicopters.

According to a federal criminal complaint filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court, Patrick Longsworth, remained defiant after being caught by Miami-Dade officers holding a laser pointer in his backyard last month, saying he did it to stop the choppers from flying over his house.

Longsworth, 55, was arrested by Miami-Dade police earlier this month and released on a $5,000 bond. U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Services agents filed a criminal complaint against him Tuesday in U.S. Southern District Court. He could not be reached for comment, and it was not immediately clear Tuesday afternoon if federal agents had arrested him.

Pointing a laser at an airplane or helicopter is illegal because, although the beam is not strong enough to damage the aircraft, it can cause pilots to experience temporary blindness, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. If convicted, Longsworth faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

According to the complaint, a Coast Guard helicopter crew reported being beamed by a green laser around 8 p.m. November 22 as it flew about six miles east of Coast Guard Station Miami at Opa-locka Executive Airport.

On November 28, around 6 p.m., another Coast Guard helicopter crew members reported having a laser pointed at them as they flew about one mile from the first incident, the complaint states.

Then, a Miami-Dade police helicopter crew was illuminated by a laser in the same area, agents said. This time, the pilot was able to see a man pointing the laser from the backyard of a home in the 1500 block of Northeast 140th Street in North Miami, according to the complaint.

Road patrol officers went to the house and found Longsworth, who lives there, still in his yard holding a laser pointer, agents said. He told officers “he was tired of aircraft flying over his house,” the complaint states.

When federal agents interviewed Longsworth days later, he told them that he was so bothered by planes and helicopters flying over his home that he considered buying a new laser pointer after Miami-Dade police confiscated his original device, agents said.


  1. What an ignorant and dangerous fool.

  2. The 2 fastest ways to get the undivided attention of the federal government is to interfere with aviation communication or navigation, and bullsh!t like shining a laser beam at an aircraft in operation.

    He won't be getting probation, he will most likely do some hard time, and that's an official Martha Stewart "Good Thing"...