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Man Arrested For Allegedly Pointing Laser At Plane, Police Helicopter In Suffolk County

SAINT JAMES, NY (CBSNewYork) — A 21-year-old Long Island man is accused of using a laser to interrupt a flight as it flew over Suffolk County.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

Green lasers are sold on the internet and are so powerful, they could cause a pilot to lose control, said Suffolk County police inspector Stewart Cameron.

“These powerful lasers beams can travel hundreds to thousands of feet,” said Cameron.

The inspector says a private airplane was traveling near MacArthur Airport when someone pointed a laser at the pilot, blinding him for a few moments.

That’s when police were then called.

“We sent one of our helicopters to investigate and it was also lased,” said Cameron.

Soon after, 21-year-old David Smith of Saint James was arrested. He’s facing local police charges and the case was also turned over to the terrorism task force.

“Some people may think this is a harmless prank, but if the pilot is blinded, it could result in an aircraft accident,” Cameron said.

Smith is charged with obstructing government administration. The case is still ongoing.

According to the FAA, laser incident reports have increased dramatically. There were 300 reports in 2005 and 2,836 in 2010.

Please leave a comment below…

  • Meme Meyagi

    what is done about 7 million mooslime terrorists living in usa?

  • king of sachem

    i think he should get AT LEAST 5 years. this kid easily could have killed someone because of his actions. he should have been working like a real man. like me. i bang my girl like a man, he bangs his girl like a weirdo. everyone know i get more butt than ashtrays baby they call me ashy, im classy. want beef? come ask me, holla at ya bitty cause her booobs are lookin flashy. thats what im bout, im nasty, grimmy, prolific rhyming, all the time when, i been, kickin rapps way be for iman, mad davey davey lose his job with out tryin, barely survivin, pointin lasers at haters thinkin they never findem, goes into hidin,…but he needs to deff grow up jeez

    • throw the book at the lil kid

      im not 100% sure what most of the meant but i totally agree with the 1st and last parts! you go king! ha ha


    Joey Deviva… quit it already your fiancee left you for some kid she was playing grabass with while you sat on the bench waiting for her. enough out of you

  • Stewy

    And for all of u out there call him a low life and stupid …. He makes more money then all of u he works on wall street with a very good following. People do stupid thing ever he of the expression LIVE & LEARN


      no he doesn’t

      • michael

        houlihans you went out of business

        • Houlihans For Life

          Yeah as soon as we hired Dave we went under…

          • Houlihans for Life

            Yeah we went out of business but as ex coworkers we can let the world know this kid was the worst employee/person that ever worked there. If you can’t get by working at Houlihans you are trash…

            • Joey Deviva

              wait a second I thought it was waynes fault that houlihans went out of business for doing heroin in the bathroom

              • Houli's

                That joke would’ve been relevant if we went out of business like 5 years ago.

    • justice

      ever hear the expression MONEY CAN’T BUY CLASS? he should use some of that “money” to buy some common sense & an education instead of blowing it on shiny lasers and drugs. time to grow up.


      Hey Stewy, if he makes more money than all of us why doesn’t he have a car yet?!?!? Yes people do stupid things and say stupid things but even the most wealthy are caught cheating and stealing these days. I guess you are trying to defend your friend. Maybe you should come to terms of the danger he could have caused and try helping him instead!!!



    • Houlihans For Life

      If only Houlihans didn’t lay him off he wouldn’t have to allegedly shove his head into a bag of coke and try and take down some planes…I blame the economy…Btw I wonder if he even knows Houlihans even shut down he wasn’t at the meeting I bet he’s counting on that job when he gets out of Guantanamo…


    WOWWWW TEXT BOX! nobody is reading this and youre probably the ex gf or her parents. BACK TO the laser story please mom

    • who cares

      easy there houlihans lake grove…… didn’t you go out of business? HA


        yeah because this mom was too busy crying about her stupid daughter at home instead of at houlis

  • tcm

    Well look at all of you that really have nothing better to do then reminisce over a 21 year old that pointed a laser pointer into the sky. Don’t get me wrong it was a stupid thing to do…. but come on most of your comments are a little escalated don’t you think? , he had a couple drinks and didn’t realize the potential harm by his actions. Don’t you think all this media is a big enough punishment?

    • justice

      the kid is a dirtbag and deserves everything and anything they give em. waste of life and wasn’t going anywhere anyway. i’m not surprised he’d end up in police custody at all. i hope he’s in jail long enough to become some big guy’s girlfriend.

    • TT


    • Justice2

      I feel no sympathy for this “mans” actions. He jepordized everyones lives on that plane and for those of you who are on his side about this should clearly rethink what your saying due to the fact that he violated the law and getting charged with terriorst acts. Blaming it on alcohol or drugs is pure stupidity. If you cant pay the time,dont do the crime, simple as that.

  • stupid

    He looks intelligent, guess not. He should have been charged with attempted murder also. He can’t be so stupid to think of what could have happened if that plane went down. This guy should be given a psych evaluation before being freed.

  • doc in NJ

    No, all of you have it wrong….he was star-gazing, just like the father and minor-son team a few years back who spent many minutes at the end of runway 22L looking at the Orion constellation while pesky jets kept getting in the way.

  • Harold Bayer

    Believe it or not, Congress has been sitting on a law to make pointing a laser at an aircraft illegal, so it isn’t and there is no jail time. ! Instead, Congress has been occupying space, drawing $172K per year, and generally not pulling their oar.

    As a result, these laser pointing incidents are administratively handled by the FAA under the broad brush of interfering with an aircraft and air travel. This is the same broad brush that they use to fine people that refuse to buckle up on takeoff etc.

  • coconut

    I bet you he was just bored… I don’t know how many times i’ve heard that excuse recently…

  • Ed Koch's ego & Tomb Inc

    He makes Bevis & Butthead look smart.

  • CN

    Lucky for him he looks more like an idiot than a terrorist.

  • Mary K

    Only in Long Island…

  • Bikini Videos
  • Brand him!!

    Hopefully the police used the laser to burn holes into his retina’s. He will never be able to do it again. He could have caused a true tragedy if a pilot was momentarily blinded and crashed into a residential area.

  • thor's hammer

    is it just me, or has open season on idiots gotten much longer every year? today’s star idot (at least at this time)really needs to be made an example of. is that what you wanted junior? if the plane or helicopter had come down it would also be a murder charge (or multiple) that you’d be facing. spare us your attempted play on sympathy (or that of your court appointed lawyer) saying you didn’t mean any harm (or variation thereof). note to his parents – we’re not buying your pleas either. actions have consequences. take your punishment and maybe there’s a (very) remote chance that someday you may grow up to be a real man. judges/juries – make the punishment count!

  • dave

    so the cops arrested him, he must be guilty

  • Onzuna rhaycca

    Arrest this foolish young man. thanks to the team that traced this foolish young man.

  • Brinsley

    Its just a prank. Getting caught and having his pic up for all to see is in itself a punishment. Hope they let him of the hook !

    • Barb

      The pilot of this plane was MY son. Would you like YOUR child to be subject to such a stupid act that could cause his/her life and the lives of those on the plane?

      • Barb

        *cause the end of

        • j.b. diGriz

          The world would not be fit to live in by anyone, if we start talking about brutal criminal sentences for every misstep. Ask yourself – are you best served by having this person potentially put in prison for 5 years? Is society better off?

          • smarten up


      • iris

        you go girl! i highly agree. though it is a stupid prank, you can’t really be that bored to point a laser at an air craft. or any vehicle for that matter.

        • Tom

          well if you lived in a town with all drug addicts, then yes its better to be pointing a laser into the sky then shooting up heroin (wouldnt you think).. seriously you people are pathetic saying that this kid is wrong and should be charged with all these ridiculous crimes… really think about it..

    • Lenny

      Would you be saying that if your mother was on the plane and he caused it to crash?

    • DJB

      I had a laser pointed in my eye when sitting on the bench of a basketball game in college. I was blinded for at least 30 seconds, not a good feeling. I saw who did it, told my coaches and security approached the man. He denied doing it and was allowed to stay inside the arena and watch the game. I wanted to run across the court and literally rips his eyes out. But as a rational thinking young man I knew that wouldn’t accomplish very much except criminal charges against me. I was upset however that the police did not make this asshole empty his pockets. Blinding a pilot with a laser pointer is plain stupidity. Doing something like this clearly shows he was raised by a bunch of idiotic parents who have taught him there are no consequences to your actions. You don’t wake up and decide to do something stupid one day, usually there are many stupid things you’ve done in the past and luckily his lack of brain power got him caught. I also used to be a cop, and trust me a lot of people bring attention to themselves like this ass. He’s like the people I used to book in jail, suspended or revoked license, speeding doing 90 in a 45, in a stolen car while drunk. Geniuses!!!!!!

      • DJB

        How could I forget, the best was this drunk idiot ramming a car at an intersection while I sat there and watched for about 2 minutes so I could catch it on tape. 26 open suspensions, stolen car and drunk as hell (empty bottle of goose on the back seat). But the best was when I ran his info. 12 hours before I arrested him he was arrested for DUI by a co-worker of mine on the night shift. Really!!!???? WOW

        • MDS

          Well that just tells us how stupid the law is doesnt it. Letting the idiot go , so he could get another dui , steal a car and other things. He should have been in jail..

  • LG

    He’s got a face that only a mother can like.

    • PurpleNinja

      not even

  • mike

    Crush his laser and kick him in the ass! Make him write a 5000 word thesis on “Why I shouldn’t lase small planes” He want’s to act like a child, then treat him like one!

  • Scott

    Nice work by the crew of the helicopter to track this kid down. Well done.

  • tc

    What a mean imbecile.

  • JMT

    ’21 year old “Man”‘, no more like a 16 year old ‘KID’ in a 21 year old body.. I mean seriously, are people just THAT clueless or do they think that because they are of a certain socioeconomic class & live in a certain place that the laws ‘don’t apply to them’??

    • so stupid

      This guy is plain stupid. He should have been at a job or doing something intelligent, his actions show just how intelligent he is. What an idiot, plain and simple

      • gotacomment

        I don’t think too many employers would hire him. The only place for him is in an institution making brooms. And his idiot parents shold face a hefty fine, if not jail time, for whelping this punk and raising him so badly.

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