• U.S.

Man Arrested in New York for Injuring Pilots With Lasers, Police Say

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Police arrested a man Monday who allegedly gave four pilots, including two police helicopter pilots, eye injuries after pointing a laser at multiple aircraft departing from and arriving at New York’s LaGuardia Airport.

Police charged Frank Egan, 36, with assault on a police officer, felony assault, reckless endangerment and criminal possession of a weapon after they traced the source of the laser beam to his Bronx apartment, the New York Times reports. Police say they recovered a machine labeled “Laser 303” from the apartment and that Egan admitted to using the laser that night.

Egan’s lawyer, Francis J. O’Reilly, said that his client was sleeping at the time of the investigation.

The two police officers injured by the laser say they were on board a helicopter investigating the cause of the beam when the it was directed into the cockpit and turned everything green. “[The laster] actually blinded us for a split second,” Officer Royston Charles told NBC.

The laser was not an isolated incident, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which reported that there were 41 cases of lasers at LaGuardia airport in 2014.


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Write to Nolan Feeney at nolan.feeney@time.com