A University of Louisville student accused of shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter is learning that authorities take the matter seriously. Louisville police say 19-year-old Jeffry Ledington is charged with two wanton endangerment counts.
Ledington was arrested at his dormitory early in the morning on October 21st, shortly after the incident. The helicopter pilot has been identified as Louisville Officer Carey Hirtzel, who says the green laser lit up the entire cockpit and all he could see was green. Hirtzel says he averted his eyes and was able to turn the helicopter away from the beam of light. He says the aircraft was hit by the laser beam again, but he was able to locate the source of the laser.
Authorities say some people consider such use of lasers to be a prank. However, law enforcement officials consider it to be a serious offense that has become more common. According to the FBI, more than 2700 laser pointer incidents have been reported in the U.S. this year.