Man Arrested After Laser Beamed Into N.Y. Helicopter Cockpit

A 19-year-old man was arrested after authorities said he shined a laser pointer at a police helicopter.

The bright green laser beamed into the cockpit late Monday night, temporarily blinding the officers, said Melissa Klein, an NYPD spokeswoman.

Police arrested Anthony Pepe a short time later, and charged him with reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon, Klein said.

In December, a Paterson, N.J., man was charged with shining a laser pointer into the cockpit of a hovering news helicopter.

Pedro Vega, 36, was charged with a variety of offenses, including interference with transportation and assault, after authorities said he beamed the laser pointer into the cockpit of a WNBC television helicopter.

And in November, David W. Banach, 39, of Parsippany, N.J., who had flashed a laser pointer at a commercial airplane, pleaded guilty to violating a section of the USA Patriot Act involving interfering with pilots of a passenger aircraft.

The crew aboard the charter flight from Boca Raton, Fla., said the laser temporarily blinded two pilots, and they could not see their flight instruments.