February 7, 2017
Tulsa Man Pleads Guilty To Shining a Laser at Tulsa Police Helicopter
On February 7, 2017, Ethan Hernandez pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court, Tulsa, Oklahoma, to knowingly shining a laser light at a Tulsa Police Department helicopter on May 21, 2016. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 9, 2017.
The FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 established a 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 temporarily blinded by laser beams.