Man arrested after shining laser pointer at police helicopter during vehicle pursuit
A man was arrested for shining a laser pointer at a police helicopter while it was chasing suspects. The Midlands team for the National Police Air Service, which covers the Leicestershire region, were helping West Midlands police officers with a pursuit in Walsall by providing air support on Tuesday night (January 17).
However, while flying over the town, the officers were disturbed by a laser being shone at the helicopter, which was coming from a laser pointer being used on a residential street below. Despite seeming insignificant, laser pointers can cause a big problem for aircraft - including distracting or blinding a pilot while they are flying - with those responsible for the beam at risk of being arrested for endangering an aircraft.
This was the case for the man responsible, who was recorded not only shining the laser at the aircraft, but also being arrested by West Midlands Police officers.
Posting the video onto the NPAS Midlands Twitter account, a spokesperson wrote: "Last night we assisted @wmpolice with a vehicle stop in @walsallpolice. Whilst doing so we were targeted with a laser pointer, fortunately @responseWMP were nearby and the offender was detained in the act.
"Offenders can be pin pointed in seconds and can be jailed for 5 years."
West Midlands Police was contacted for a comment.