Police: Man admits pointing laser at Sky Harbor, Deer Valley air - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

Police: Man admits pointing laser at Sky Harbor, Deer Valley aircraft

The suspect is Lam Tran, 57. Police took him into custody without incident at his home. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) The suspect is Lam Tran, 57. Police took him into custody without incident at his home. (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
'Lasers, when pointed at an aircraft, can illuminate an entire flight deck and blind pilots and crew,' police said. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) 'Lasers, when pointed at an aircraft, can illuminate an entire flight deck and blind pilots and crew,' police said. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
MESA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Police say they have arrested a man in connection with laser strikes on light aircraft flying into and out of both Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and Deer Valley Regional Airport.

All of the affected aircraft were in the same general area near the border between West Phoenix and Glendale. Armed with that information, investigators narrowed down the area from which the strikes were likely coming.

“During a joint operation with Glendale Police Department, officers were able to witness a suspect point a laser at a helicopter that was flying nearby,” according to Lt. Paul Taylor of the Phoenix Police Department.

The suspect is Lam Tran, 57. Police took him into custody without incident at his home.

“The suspect made statements admitting his involvement in the strikes,” Taylor said.

It’s not clear why Tran was pointing a laser at the aircraft. While handheld laser pointers might seem harmless, they can be extremely dangerous.

GRAPHIC: Tips on staying safe with laser pointers

“Lasers, when pointed at an aircraft, can illuminate an entire flight deck and blind pilots and crew,” Taylor explained. “Interfering with the safe operation of an aircraft is extremely dangerous and can have dire consequences for the personnel on the plane and people on the ground.  It is also a felony; a felony that valley law enforcement agencies take seriously.”

Tran is facing one count of felony endangerment.

READ: FAA hardening stance against lasers pointed at aircraft

ARS 13-1201 defines endangerments as “recklessly endangering another person with a substantial risk of imminent death or physical injury.” It is a class 6 felony.

YouTube: Phoenix police helicopter ride along laser danger

PDF: FAA: Laser hazards in navigable airspace

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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