PHILADELPHIA – A Pennsylvania man was charged with aiming a high-powered laser at a police helicopter cockpit during flight and blinding the pilot.
The FBI says 51-year-old Williamsport resident James Gautieri temporarily blinded Lt. Anthony Ginaldi as he tried to land the helicopter in northeast Philadelphia in April. Ginaldi had to turn over controls to a co-pilot.
Police say they kept their search light on Gautieri's location until officers on the ground arrived to arrest him. Federal prosecutors aren't discussing a possible motive.
Gautieri is charged with interfering with the operation of an aircraft and reckless endangerment. His defense lawyer hasn't returned a telephone call seeking comment.