A 14-year-old Middle River boy was arrested Tuesday after he endangered a Maryland State Police helicopter crew by continuously flashing a green laser while the aircraft was in-flight.
The incident occurred while the Martin State Airport-based helicopter crew was assisting Baltimore County Police with an aerial search for a suicidal person, according to a Maryland State Police news release. Flying over Eastern Boulevard and Kingston Road the crew of pilot Shawn McGinley and Trooper/paramedic Joshua Heins experienced a flash that lit up the cockpit.
McGinley tried to maneuver away from the light beam. However, a second flash reached the cockpit, according to the news release.
The flight crew pinpointed the location of the beam and hovered directly over the residence where the light originated from and contacted Baltimore County police.
Within six minutes of the laser incident, Baltimore County police arrived at the suspected house and discovered the juvenile with the laser light allegedly used on the helicopter.
The boy is charged with reckless endangerment, attempted second-degree assault on police, obstructing and hindering police and prohibited use of a laser pointer. The boy was later released into the custody of his parents, Maryland State Police reported.
Maryland State Police have reported six laser incidents against its aircraft in 2011, . Two of those have led to prosecutions.
State police also stress that is extremely dangerous to point a laser at an aircraft as it can lead to temporary blindness of the pilot and cause crew members to be unable to perform their duties.
“The safety of our flight crews is paramount and we continue to remain vigilant to aggressively inform the public of the serious nature of this unnecessary act before any injuries occur,” said , Maryland State Police Helicopter Operations Commander in a statement.