Police Helicopter Pilot Arrests Laser Suspect


Police helicopter pilots regularly assist with the apprehension of suspects accused of pointing laser pointers at aircraft, but they rarely land to make the arrest themselves. Florida’s Bay News Channel 9 reports that Pasco County Sheriff’s Office helicopter pilot Stephen Bowman tracked the laser wielding suspect to his home, landed in a nearby vacant lot, then marched over the man’s house to confront him. “I immediately took him into custody and then that’s when he was a little confused on who I was,” Bowman told Bay News. “I explained that I was a deputy pilot for the Sheriff’s Office, and he wanted to know where my helicopter was.”

Bowman told Bay News 9 that he had been supporting sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of a suspect barricaded in a home, when he was targeted with a laser pointer and took matters into his own hands. “It was extremely satisfying,” Bowman told local reporters. “A lot of times, we don’t get to interact in a sense on the ground with the deputies. So, being able to, from start to finish, follow this through and able to successfully apprehend the subject was very satisfying.” The suspect, Ryan Fluke, 27, was taken into custody and charged with misuse of laser lighting devices, a third-degree felony.