Palmetto man arrested for pointing laser at helicopter
A Palmetto man was arrested after deputies say he shined a laser light at a Manatee County Sheriff’s Office helicopter from an apartment balcony.
A Manatee County Sheriff’s Office tactical flight officer and a pilot were on routine air patrol in a sheriff’s office helicopter around 9:38 p.m. Wednesday when they noticed someone shining a green laser at them, according to a news release.
Several times the laser light went into the cockpit of the helicopter, making it difficult for the pilot and officer to see.
Those operating the helicopter were able to determine the light was coming from a balcony at the Palms and Rivera Dunes apartments balcony and directed deputies and Palmetto police officers to the apartment, according to the news release.
Deputies and officers spoke with several people inside the apartment at 501 Haben Blvd. and identified 22-year-old Vladimir Altman as the person who pointed the laser at the helicopter, according to the sheriff’s office.
In an interview with deputies, Altman admitted to pointing the laser and was arrested, according to the sheriff’s office. He was taken to the Manatee County jail on a charge of pointing a laser at a driver or pilot and was being held on a $1,500 bond, according to jail records.
The laser was recovered by deputies.