EAST PALO ALTO (CBS 5) – A person shined a laser pointer at Chopper 5 while covering a fire at a nearby veterans home Monday night.
Around 6:30 p.m., a green laser was pointed at Chopper 5 from someone on the ground near Poplar and Ramlar Avenues. The suspect shined the laser multiple times over several minutes. East Palo Alto police performed a search of the area but could not find the suspect.READ MORE: COVID: UCSF Researchers Examine Impact Of Coronavirus On Young Brains After 3 Teens Develop Psychosis
Neither helicopter pilot Andrew St. Laurent or photographer JPaul Baca were injured in the incident.READ MORE: Departing Atmospheric River Blankets Tahoe Ski Resorts With 3 Feet Of Snow
Laser strikes at aircraft have been on the rise in recent years, with 2,836 incidents reported nationwide in 2010, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. More than 170 incidents occurred last year at the Bay Area’s three major airports.
Pilots could be temporary blinded or lose their eyesight permanently during a laser strike. Shining a laser at an aircraft is a violation of federal law.MORE NEWS: Santa Rosa Neighbors Blame City After Creek Overflows, Flooding Homes, Forcing Evacuations
(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)