Fla. Teens Playing with Laser Injure Helicopter Pilots

By: AP
By: AP

NAPLES, Fla. (AP) --

Two teenagers face felony charges after pointing a laser light at a police helicopter.

Authorities say the teens were shining the laser pen into the
air about 2 a.m. on New Year's Day. Two pilots in a tactical
helicopter from the Collier County Sheriff's Office spotted the
green laser beam while patrolling about 500 feet in the air.

The pilots were forced back to the hangar. They each suffered
ruptured blood vessels in their left eyes and were treated at a
local hospital.

Deputies tracked the light to a home where 19-year-old Hidlago
Moreno and his 17-year-old friend said they were playing with the

The teens were charged with pointing a laser at an aircraft
operator, causing injury.

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  • by Betty Location: FL on Jan 4, 2011 at 06:57 PM
    there are warning signs when you purchase these lasers and the charges will stick. What dummies? I Hope the pilots get better and there is no permanent damage
  • by Realistic People Location: Tallahassee on Jan 4, 2011 at 01:23 PM
    Does anyone here remember being a child? Do you remember doing things that werent so smart,but you did them anyways, b/c you were a kid. How can we be charging these kids, for shining a laser pointer? In the air of all places! This is an accident that happened, are we really going to ruin these 2 kids lives, just because they were running around playing on new years? This seems absurd!
  • by Walt on Jan 4, 2011 at 11:52 AM
    Hey Bert... google is a search engine. Goggles are what people wear on their face.
  • by Bert on Jan 4, 2011 at 09:00 AM
    @Anonymous "Said pilots were probably wearing night vision equipment if it was 2am. A laser would be amplified to an enourmous signal level." Even if they were wearing night vision googles, the laser light wouldn't make it through the google. Googles aren't binoculars. They don't work that way. The laser had to hit the eyes. You can get these extremely powerful lasers online very easily.
  • by mike on Jan 4, 2011 at 05:39 AM
    You people know nothing about helicopters do you? Do you really want (temporarily) blinded pilots flying over your house? Pilots need to be able to see to avoid crashing. I don't really understand how a laser would have burst blood vessels either. But regardless, you know if you look at a flash on a camera, and you see nothing but a blue circle for a few minutes? That could be enough to down an aircraft. Helicopters are not cars. You can't pull over to the side of the road. Even if they were flying night VFR, (no night vision), it's not like helicopters have headlights to illuminate where they are going. I don't think anyone is suggesting a ban on laser pointers. But it is a felony to shine them at aircraft....with good reason.
  • by anonymous on Jan 4, 2011 at 05:23 AM
    The article states NOTHING about night vision goggles being worn. Just cause it happened while it was dark, does not mean the pilots had night vision goggles... helicopters DO have lights on them. Stop adding more to this story. I still don't understand how someone hits a pilot at 500 feet dead in the eyes with a laser on PURPOSE. I highly doubt it was purposely done. If it was those kids have the best aim in the universe, apparently.
  • by Georgia Boy Location: Cairo on Jan 4, 2011 at 04:15 AM
    It would seem there is sympathy for the boys in question, despite the fact they are old enough to read and understand the warnings on lasers about pointing them at anyone's eyes. That warning is there for a reason, and that reason is the damage, perhaps permanent, that can be done to someone subjected to it.
  • by Anonymous on Jan 4, 2011 at 02:39 AM
    Charge them! Why should someones idiotic actions that could potentially have fatal consequences go unpunished? Imagine if it was your loved ones on board an aircraft with the flight crew blinded by some idiot with a laser...
  • by army vet Location: fort brag on Jan 3, 2011 at 11:57 PM
    flashbacks of the war injuried them.
  • by Hwy 20 Resident on Jan 3, 2011 at 04:55 PM
    These boys should not be charged with anything, it would seem that they are the victims. This is BS!! I think these boys are being set up by someone other than the sheriff's office. Someone was doing something they should not have been doing,(like the pilots).
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