KTLA News Helicopter Among Dozens of Aircraft in 10 States Targeted by Lasers in Recent Days

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While flying over the scene of a crash in Pomona Thursday night, KTLA's Sky5 helicopter crew was targeted by a bright green laser shooting into the sky.

The news crew was able to track the apparent source of the laser to a home in the 1100 block of North Gordon Street and notified the Pomona Police Department.

KTLA's Sky5 helicopter crew traced the source of a green laser to a home in Pomona on Nov. 12, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)
KTLA's Sky5 helicopter crew traced the source of a green laser to a home in Pomona on Nov. 12, 2015. (Credit: KTLA)

The person operating the laser was determined to be a juvenile, according to officers at the scene.

The 15-year-old was arrested for pointing a laser at an aircraft and released into the custody of his parents, according to Pomona police Lt. Becker.

It would be up to the District Attorney's Office to decide whether to file misdemeanor or felony charges against the teenager, Becker said.

More than 20 aircraft were struck by lasers from the ground just last night, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Strikes were reported in 10 states as well as in Puerto Rico and Ontario, Canada, said the FAA. Aircraft flying over major cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Dallas were among those affected.

While no pilots reported injuries, pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal crime, signed into law in 2012.

"Lasers distract pilots from their safety duties and can lead to temporary blindness during critical phases of flight, such as takeoff and landing. In some cases in the past, pilots have reported eye injuries that required medical treatment," the FAA said.

As handheld lasers are becoming more common, such incidents of laser-pointing have been on the rise.

As of October 16, the total number of laser strikes in the United States this year was 5,352, said the FAA. Last year, there were 3,894, and in 2005, there were only 283.

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