An unwise man for the state of Florida was caught shining a laser at aircraft. For some strange reason, he thought that it would be fun to mess with the minds of the men and women that are landing the aircraft at the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport. These pilots have the lives of people in their hands as they put the aircraft on the ground. The last thing they need is for a person like Charlie James Chapman to distract them with lasers.
The nutty Chapman attempted to blind several pilots as they were making their final approaches to the airport. What was going through his mind is up for debate. One of the pilots reported that he indeed was blinded while landing from the laser. Chapman certainly displayed a bunch of reckless choices as he played with the lives of hundreds of people of those aircraft.
The video of the man pointing the laser clearly shows the deed being done towards the police helicopter. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office stated that “Pointing a laser at multiple aircraft didn’t end well for Charlie Chapman Jr. He was arrested after pointing one at planes heading into SRQ Airport last night, and then at our MCSO Aviation Unit helicopter. He even tried throwing rocks at the helicopter!”
The video also shows the man throwing the rocks at the police before getting back on his forklift. The laser he pointed at the aircraft was also used in the video to try to blind the officers that were trying to help the police on the ground find him. Chapman was on the forklift when he was found by the police unit.
Chapman was so bad that he tried to hit the officers with a hammer. The police simply used their taser to drop the creep right to the ground. Chapman obviously has no regard for the lives of the people that he was putting in danger with his laser. And he certainly did not care if the police officers he threatened would have ever returned home from their shift. That hammer was the weapon that he was going to use to fight off the police.
The police released the following statement about Chapman “It was later learned that Chapman shot his laser pointer on a fixed-wing plane four times and one time at the MCSO helicopter. One of the pilots of the plane advised that the laser hit him directly in the eyes, causing temporary blindness. The pilot stated he has still felt his eyesight was blurry from the laser.”
This is a serious issue for the pilot. The laser could have cost him his job if his eyesight does not return. The laser that Chapman used was found in his pocket. He did not even have the brains to throw the laser away before the police showed up. He really is a brainless idiot. Chapman was formally charged with aggravated assault, pointing a laser at a pilot and resisting arrest.
What Chapman was doing is officially called “aircraft lasing.” This is where a person uses a laser or light to distract are interfere with the flight of an aircraft. One special agent with the FBI named Celeste Danzi has said that “These laser strikes can imperil the aircraft because it can disorient the pilot on takeoff or landing. They can be temporarily blinded. It’s like being in a dark car and then having a flashbulb go off. It’s extremely dangerous, it’s a federal crime, and we take it seriously.”
The fact that Chapman was caught is really good. Some people are smart enough to leave the area to avoid detection, but for some reason, Chapman stayed around. One effective method that the police use to catch these people are to deploy their helicopter and hope that they shine the pointer at them. This way they have the person on video and can monitor their location until the ground units arrived. The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office dealt with the problem by the book and was able to catch crazy Chapman.