Crime

Teen arrested after he shined laser at sheriff’s helicopter, cops say

Watch as someone points laser at sheriff’s office helicopter

A 15-year-old Bradenton boy was arrested after deputies say he shined a laser light at a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Tuesday.
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A 15-year-old Bradenton boy was arrested after deputies say he shined a laser light at a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Tuesday.

A 15-year-old Bradenton boy was arrested after deputies say he shined a laser light at a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office helicopter Tuesday.

Pilot Steve Wellman and a deputy for the sheriff’s office were in the helicopter helping deputies on the ground find a suspect in another investigation around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday when they noticed someone shining a green laser in their direction, according to the sheriff’s office.

Multiple times the light went into the cockpit, shining into their eyes, according to the sheriff’s office.

“It’s extremely dangerous. If anyone has ever encountered one they know just how bright they are, it can blind you momentarily,” said Dave Bristow, spokesman for the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. “If you’re trying to drive or fly, that’s extremely dangerous.”

Officials were able to track where the light was coming from and confirm the address, and deputies went to the home in the 3400 block of 20th Street West in Bradenton.

Deputies found the 15-year-old boy who had the laser light. Bristow said the teen was not able to give an explanation of why he pointed the laser toward the helicopter.

He was arrested and taken to the Juvenile Booking Facility.

Sara Nealeigh: 941-745-7081, @saranealeigh

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