Florida man arrested for pointing lasers at planes landing at an airport
SARASOTA, Fla. — A Florida man was arrested on Wednesday night, Jan. 22 for pointing lasers at planes trying to land at Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport.
Charlie Chapman Jr., 41, also is accused of pointing a laser at a Martin County Sheriff’s Office helicopter responding to the incident, according to a news release from the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.
CNN could not immediately determine whether Chapman had a lawyer.
According to the release, officials on the helicopter spotted Chapman on a forklift and requested authorities to surround the location. Deputies used a Taser on Chapman after they alleged he “grabbed a hammer and made a striking motion” towards them when they made contact with him. The release said a laser pointer was found in Chapman’s right pants pocket.
A video released by the sheriff’s office showed a man pointing a laser at an aircraft and he was later seen attempting to throw objects at the same aircraft.
“Chapman shot his laser pointer on a fixed-wing plane four times and one time at the MCSO helicopter,” Manatee County officials said in the release.
One of the pilots who Chapman was accused of aiming a laser at said he was hit in the eye and was having vision problems as a result of the incident, according to the release.
Charges of aggravated assault on an officer, pointing a laser at a pilot with injury, pointing a laser at a pilot without injury, and resisting without violence were filed against Chapman, the release said.
Chapman was transported to the Manatee County Jail.