PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A Port St. Lucie man was arrested after law enforcement said he pointed a laser at St. Lucie County Sheriff's Office helicopter.
Investigators said the helicopter was struck multiple times by a green laser beam shortly after midnight Saturday, causing the crew temporary flash blindness.
The helicopter crew worked with the Port St. Lucie Police Department to identify and track the suspect's vehicle to the Florida Turnpike service plaza, located just north of Crosstown Parkway in Port St. Lucie.
Officers arrived at the plaza and arrested Robert Raymond Kasprzak, 34, of Port St. Lucie, on felony charges for the misuse of a laser lighting device, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
"It is extremely important for the public to know that it is a federal crime to aim a laser pointer at an aircraft. Doing so triggers temporary blindness and could have deadly consequences for the crew and the public and cause catastrophic damage to the aircraft and any structure within its path," Sheriff Ken Mascara said in a statement. "Thanks to our Aviation Unit’s calm demeanor and professionalism, they were able to quickly guide road units to the suspect vehicle to make an arrest. We are grateful no one was injured in this incident."
Kasprzak was taken to the St. Lucie County Jail and released after posting a $2,500 bond.