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A Florida man was arrested for pointing lasers at planes landing at an airport (Video)

(CNN) A Florida man was arrested on Wednesday night for pointing lasers at planes trying to land at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. Charlie James Chapman Jr., 41, also is accused of pointing a laser at a Manatee County Sheriff's Office helicopter responding to the incident, according to a news release from the Manatee County Sheriff's Office. CNN could not determine if Chapman has a lawyer. ( More...

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btweston 12
Why does this happen? Is it... fun?
Greg S 15
I was about to ask the same thing. I don't get it.

My best guess is that it's "fun" like breaking glass bottles on the pavement is fun. Some who understands primate behavior can probably provide a better answer.
I think even primates wouldn't have a clue.

It's like breaking fluorescent tubs, and smelling the gasses that are left.
travistx 9
Doesn't the title explain it by including "Florida man"? :D
I'm sorry we here in Florida aren't as smart as the idiots where you live!
Pete Schecter 2
spelled FloriDUH for a reason, home of MANY stable geniuses (case in point). NICE GRAB by the SO.
(live here but not by choice)
scott ebrite 6
btweston 3
Yeah but, like, why even do it?
sparkie624 5
There are many reasons from many different reasons.... Where Stupidity is the over all reason, there are people who have multitudes of reasons, none of which are good or acceptable... A few of them would be Noise Pollution, Exhaust Pollution, Terrorist, and I am sure many more....

I hope they throw the book at him.
ReverendLee 12
Florida Man strikes again.
Vaughn Blue Jr 12
Glad they arrested the scumbag!
Michael Lewis 12
This was my home airport. I work right there on the field at one of the FBO's. I told our Sheriff's they need to have a less than lethal weapon mounted on the heli to knock these people down. They laughed
canuck44 8
Why less than lethal? Think taxpayer relief.
Steve Drake 11
I hope this guy sees significant prison time. How many lives did he put at risk with his irresponsible actions?
ADXbear 5
Dumb azz
James Ulrich 3
There are now green laser gun sites available. An officer might think he is dealing with a "Toy" when it is a weapon and not react quick enough - or vis a versa.
DaveRK 3
IMO, the sheriff's video was great. Was that jacka$$ throwing things at the copter??

OK OK What's with all the negative comments about Florida?
The only logical conclusion is, you guys are just jealous...
I know because I was jealous of Floridians since 1980.
As soon as I moved here, no more hate of Floridians rofl
Floriduh... But there have been people lasing planes near LAX, and LGA as well. Even LAS.

eBay and Amazon have made it far too easy to get dangerous laser devices.

Most lasers will lead anyone looking for you RIGHT TO YOU, so lasing planes isn't fun (unless you are drunk/stupid) and is a federal offense that will draw some significant jail time. They HAVE blinded pilots. These are definitely not your Staples/Office Max laser pointer you use to play with the cat, or dog...
thegrump 4
They had to lead the article with “A Florida man” didn’t they? (Ok, if I was a copy editor I probably wouldn’t be able to resist either.)

What a f&^%$ing nitwit. I’m glad no one was injured, and the defendant should be grateful as hell too, because it’ll mean maybe missing a birthday in jail instead of never walking outside a prison fence again.
Torsten Hoff 7
One of the helicopter pilots suffered eye damage. It's too soon to tell whether it is permanent.

I'm surprised they send police helicopters to investigate laser incidents without the crew having protection against eye damage. I know some departments equip their pilots with visors designed to filter out certain common wavelengths.
thegrump 9
I think one reason may just be the urgency; they have to take the risk to stop the attacks. The other thing, high-power (1000mw+) lasers used to be a few hundred bucks, you had to want one more than you wanted an X-box. Now, they’re down in the $10-$20 range, and in a number of wavelengths. The cost barrier that kept at least some of the idiots out of this dangerous game is gone :-/

Luckily, the price of IR lasers that are both outside of the visible spectrum and powerful enough to do damage at any distance is higher, and because the beam is invisible, they don’t appeal to the idiots that just want to make a bright dot appear somewhere. Worked with them in long-haul fiber circuits, and always was mindful of the “do not look into laser with remaining eye” stickers that were ubiquitous
Torsten Hoff 4
>> I think one reason may just be the urgency; they have to take the risk to stop the attacks.

I really hope that's not the case. They could divert or hold flights from the airport while officers on the ground investigate, the laser will be visible from the ground. It's not worth risking the eye sight of an unprotected aircrew that may then not be able to land their helicopter.
If they divert or hold flighte, they should sue the deplorable wreck for every penny of wasted fuel, crew time, 'wear and tear', and wages spent diverting, and holding until he was found. It could be a butt load of money. AND they could track down and prosecute whoever thought it was a great idea to provide the idiot with a weapon.

I mean, Space Farce isn't even officially taking recruits, and Boy Jenius decides to try his hand at it? DOH! Throw the book at him, the building, a few planes, and a YUGE invoice that he will take decades to pay off.
Steve Drake 4
He's a handsome lad:
canuck44 1
Probably looking forward to having his smile upgraded by Florida taxpayers.
Ken Endacott 2
These sort of incidents are often carried out by juveniles or people with the mental age of a juvenile. Very hard to prevent particularly when high power lasers are readily available to anyone no matter what their mental age is.
Mark Kanzler 1
Florida must be a boring place.
Steve Western 1
There must be a cool factor here that escapes me completely. Both Delta and Allegiant had pilots who were off work due to temporary/permanent eye damage from jackasses with laser pointers, this is far from trivial. I believe that the first offense should be a $50,000 fine and possible jail time, second offense $50,000 fine and 2 to 5 years in prison. “Good Time” Charlie is far from a kid out doing stupid stuff with his teenage pals, but a 41 year old man.
Calvin Chan 1
lol thought this man could get away i knew there are black uniform people pointing laser at law enforcement officers at some part of the world but not get arrested
Mike Williams 1
At least they Tasered him. Taser is not always not fatal most of the time and police-type people always use firearms aiming for fatal shots. Good cops there.
Charlie was stupid and will find more meals in the Graybar hotel.
Mike Lowe 1
I hope they lock him up for life!! I have been Lased before and we were just lucky enough to have not been looking directly at the ass that hit us (hate to say it BUT it was in Florida too, KMCO to be exact...Sorry). We had another incident in SLC a few months later, the F/O was out for over 6 months with eye damage. This shit is serious! Needs to be delt with WAY more severly than what actually happens.

This guy however, looked like he was pissed about a lot of other stuff though. Anger management class not as good as it should be I guess.
Steve Western 1
The two examples I mentioned involved pilots flying over one of the cities near the Point of the Mountain south of SLC, north of PVU. I don’t live in Utah but I read the SLC papers often. I don’t believe the Allegiant pilot ever went back to work nor have I read of anyone being arrested. If all of America sees the numbers of laser attacks as the Salt Lake area, it’s epidemic
SoNic67 0
Florida man... it says all you need to know about it's IQ.
john doe 0
Meh... throws like a girl.


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