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Jacksonville Man Sentenced for Shining a Laser Light at a Police Helicopter

On August 1, 2013, in U.S. District Court, Jacksonville, Florida, Tyler Pennywitt was sentenced to one year probation and 50 hours of community service for knowingly shining a laser light at a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office (JSO) helicopter on June 4, 2012. 

The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 modernizes the nation's aviation system and establishes a new criminal offense for aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft, or at the flight path of  an aircraft.  The statute was enacted in response to a growing number of incidents of pilots being distracted or even temporarily blinded by laser beams.

We investigated this case with the assistance of the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office and the Federal Aviation Administration.