An Oklahoma City teen is looking at both a state and federal charge for playing around with a laser. Darren Williams, 19, of Oklahoma City was arrested Monday night and accused of pointing a laser at Air One, Oklahoma City Police Department’s helicopter.
Police say the teen violated the Laser Safety Act, a crime that not only carries a state charge but is also a federal crime.
Air One pilots were on patrol Monday night around 10:30 p.m. when they were hit with a green light several times. Police said the light came from William’s bedroom in northeast Oklahoma City.
“They sent ground units to the house,” said Lt. Mike Jackson. “They made contact with the occupants and subsequently made an arrest.”
Lt. Jackson said lasers are a continual threat to pilots in Oklahoma City and across the country.
“In the last year, it happened four time in Oklahoma City,” said Lt. Jackson. “Nationwide, it happens all the time. I get reports weekly from the FAA on laser strikes.”
Lt. Jackson explains, at night a laser strike can blind pilots and is extremely dangerous.
“A sudden bright green light will cause them to lose their night vision. Any momentary loss of your vision in a helicopter is very problematic.”
It can also land the person accused of pointing the laser in jail. William’s father, Keith Williams said his son didn't know the law.
“It was an honest mistake,” Williams said. “He is really remorseful about it.”
The college football player and soon-to-be college graduate is now facing state and federal charges and possibly jail time.