Man Arrested After Pointing Laser At OCPD's Helicopter
OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahoma City police recently arrested a man for violating the Laser Safety Act.
Police said Aaron Camarillo, 25, flashed a green laser at Air 1 while the pilot was on night patrol.
Police released helicopter video of the laser assault.
The Air 1 pilot quickly spotted the green light flicker from the area of Southeast 29th and Shields Boulevard. The helicopter camera locked onto the suspect’s van.
Air 1 Pilot: “We need a unit to stop a vehicle at 29th and Shields, just hit us with a laser.”
The experienced pilot could even tell what side of the car the laser came from and communicated with officers on the ground.
Air 1 Pilot: “The laser came out of the driver side.”
Police said Camarillo was behind the wheel, his wife was in the passenger seat and police were not far behind.
“Air 1 was able to guide officers to where the suspect was,” said Officer Megan Morgan, Oklahoma City Police Department. “He was driving a van in that area.”
Air 1 Pilot: “He’s in the inside lane, got one vehicle on the outside. Actually, he just moved to the outside too.”
The officer pulled Camarillo over and found the hand-held laser on the floor near the front seat.
From a pilot's perspective, a laser is a small but potentially dangerous device.
“A sudden bright green light will cause them to lose their night vision,” said Lt. Mike Jackson, OCPD Air Support Unit. “Any momentary loss in a helicopter of your vision is very problematic.”
Police said it happens more often than they would like and warn the public that flashing a laser at an aircraft is illegal and comes with serious consequences.
Camarillo was arrested and booked into jail on one complaint of violating the Laser Safety Act. He faces a state and federal charge.
The maximum punishment for violating the Laser Safety Act is up to five years in prison or a $250,000 fine.