Laser Attack Caught On Police Video


A Florida man is facing a laundry list of charges after he allegedly pointed a laser at least four aircraft, including a police helicopter. Charlie Chapman Jr., 41, was apprehended at an industrial site near Bradenton-Sarasota Airport after several complaints from pilots. One of the pilots reported he was temporarily blinded and had lingering blurred vision after the attack. That resulted in his being charged with pointing a laser at a pilot with injury and pointing a laser at a pilot without injury. Chapman wasn’t finished when he put the laser in his pocket though.

The police helicopter arrived and its multi-mode camera showed him lighting up the cockpit a few times. Chapman then switched to throwing rocks at the hovering chopper. As the police on the ground closed in, he hopped on a forklift and then grabbed a hammer with which to greet them with “a striking motion.” He was tasered and taken to the hospital before being arrested and charged. 

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.