NAPA (CBS SF) — A suspect has been arrested for aiming a laser at a California Highway Patrol aircraft, momentarily blinding the pilot, as the plane neared the Napa County Airport on Monday night.
The aircraft was returning to the airport after taking part in a search at 10:50 p.m. when the cockpit was illuminated by the bright flash of a laser.
The CHP said the suspect pointed the laser directly at the aircraft, striking our pilot in the eye. Fortunately, the pilot was able to maintain control of the aircraft due to the auto pilot being engaged.
Meanwhile, the flight officer directed the on-board camera towards the direction of the laser strike, recording the continued targeting of the plane.
A call was made to the Solano County Sheriff’s Office with deputies immediately responding to the source of the blinding light. Deputies located the suspect at the location and found the laser.
There have been several reports to the Travis Airforce Base Tower of military and civilian aircraft being struck by a laser over the last few days. Although it is unknown if this is the same suspect in those laser strikes, the Solano Sheriff Office is investigating.
The suspect was arrested for two felonies and booked into the Solano County Jail.