A comprehensive resource for safe and responsible laser use

UK: 9 months in jail for 50-year-old Leeds man who aimed at police helicopter

David Gill, 50
Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK


On March 9 2019, a West Yorkshire Police helicopter was searching for a car that had eluded a police stop, when it was repeatedly illuminated by green laser light. The search was abandoned so the helicopter could locate the laser suspect.

Ground units arrested David Gill, 50, of Leeds.

At trial he pleaded not guilty, but was convicted by a jury of endangering the safety of an aircraft. He was sentenced May 12 2019 to nine months in prison.

From the Daily Mail

US: 30 days in jail, one year probation for Ohio man who aimed at airplane, helicopter

Eugene L. Robinson, 37
Columbus, Ohio, US




On July 19 2018, Robinson aimed a green laser pointer at a police helicopter, then at a Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 carrying 61 passengers. He also aimed at police helicopters sent to check the reports of laser illumination. He was charged with four counts of interfering with the operation of an aircraft.

On May 1 2019, Robinson pleaded guilty to one charge of interfering with the Southwest flight, a felony. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail, one year of probation, and community service by appearing in a public service announcement about the danger to passengers and penalties for persons aiming lasers at aircraft.

Robinson said it was “a boneheaded mistake ... I didn’t know how far it would go, didn’t even think it would go as far as it did ... I wasn’t trying to hurt anybody.”

US: 21 months in jail for Florida man who aimed laser at police helicopter

Ryan Fluke, 28
Port Richey, Florida, US


Ryan Fluke laser squashed80pct

On December 5 2017, a Pasco (Florida) County Sheriff's Office helicopter was illuminated about 10 times by laser light from the ground. The helicopter pilot landed in an empty parking lot, walked to the suspect's home, and detained Ryan Fluke.

Fluke told the pilot he aimed the laser for fun, and did not realize the laser beam could travel a long distance.

Fluke had 12 previous arrests in Pasco County. He was charged with misuse of laser lighting devices, a third degree felony.

He pleaded guilty November 20 2018 to aiming a laser at an aircraft and was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison, in March 2019.

UK: Six months jail for aiming green laser at police helicopter

Voyslav Dimitrov, 29
Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, UK

On September 15 2018, a police helicopter searching for suspects was illuminated three times, for 3-5 seconds each, by a green laser beam. The pilot broke off the search and flew evasively to avoid the light.

Deputies on the ground arrested Dimitrov.

He pleaded guilty on January 29 2019. His lawyer claimed Dimitrov thought he was aiming at a drone.

At sentencing on February 18 2019, the judge said the incident could have ended in a "fatal and catastrophic" outcome. He gave Dimitrov a six month jail sentence, out of a potential maximum five years under the Laser Misuse (Vehicles) Act.

From BBC England News. Original LaserPointerSafety.com story here.

New Zealand: 51 months in jail for aiming a laser into officers' eyes plus other charges

Niki John Gamble-Mackesy, 23
New Zealand (no city given)


On June 3 2018, Niki John Gable-Macksey, 23, aimed a laser pointer at police officers who were conducting a bail check. He deliberately aimed a green "high-powered" laser pointer [likely over the 1 milliwatt New Zealand limit] directly into the officers' eyes.

They felt "immediate discomfort and a burning sensation in their eyes" according to the police report. One of the officers had pain and headaches for the next two days, and was seen by an optometrist. There was no permanent injury to either officer.

On February 5 2018 Gamble-Mackesy was sentenced in Hamilton District Court to four years, three months in jail, and was also ordered not to drive for two years. Charges against him included injuring with intent to injure, threatening to kill, obstructing the course of justice, dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, failing to stop for police, and two charges of committing an act of criminal nuisance. It was not clear how much of his jail term, and how many of the charges, directly related to his laser attack on the police officers, and how many related to additional criminal actions he had taken such as strangling his domestic partner on May 26 2018, and attacking her again on June 8.

From Stuff.co.nz