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Man arrested for shining laser at St. Lucie Sheriff’s chopper

Briant Hart
Briant Hart
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Updated: 6/29/2013 6:12 pm
ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. (PBP) -- A 20-year-old from Plant City was arrested Thursday night after admitting to shining a green laser beam at a St. Lucie County Sheriff’s helicopter twice — an illegal act that deputies said can potentially blind the pilot or cause a crash.

Sheriff’s pilot James Adams reported that a green beam had been aimed at the helicopter from a black Dodge pickup headed south on Interstate 95 at about 9 p.m. last night. Adams was on patrol with another pilot in training.

Deputies on the ground caught up with a pickup matching the description on SW Gatlin Boulevard. Three men were in the truck, and the front passenger, Brian Hart, pulled the laser from his boot and admitted to being the one to aim its beam at the copter, according to his arrest report.

“I asked Hart why he would do something that stupid and he stated that he didn’t know and that he was sorry he didn’t know that it was that big of a deal,” deputy Jason Cannon wrote. “I explained the hazard of putting a laser light on an aircraft that he could have potentially blinded the pilot and caused the aircraft to crash. Again, Hart apologized and stated that he did not mean any harm but he had just done something stupid.”

Hart has been released on bond form the St. Lucie County Jail, Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Andrew McIntosh said Friday morning.

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