Today In WTF: Suspect Points Laser At CHP Copter, Faces 40 Years
We're not sure what's crazier, that this guy allegedly pointed a laser at a California Highway Patrol helicopter (Note to self: When pointing lasers at flying objects, try to avoid the black-and-white ones), or that federal law provides up to 40 years in federal prison for just such an act of such stupidity.
Authorities on Friday arrested 19-year-old Cathedral City resident Nathan Ramon Wells on suspicion of interference with an operator of an aircraft and attempted interference of such an operator after he allegedly beamed a laser into the cockpit of the CHP copter in the desert community near Palm Springs on June 3.
The chopper was en route to assist with a nearby burglary call when the laser temporarily put the two-officer crew off course, according to a U.S. Attorney's Office statement. The pilot decided, eh, what the hell, let's find this laser-pointing idiot, and broke from the burglary call to track the suspect.
The copter pilot followed the laser to a moving vehicle, and the CHP air directed officers on the ground to stop the vehicle. Inside, they allege, was Wells and his weapon of retinal destruction.
Wells faces as many as 20 years for each count (interfering and attempting to interfere).