Man Who Aimed Laser at Life Flight, Spokane Sheriff Choppers Gets Federal Charges
A Spokane-area man is facing Federal charges following his actions with a laser pointer last fall. The charges were levied this week.
Man aims laser pointer at two separate helicopters
Johnny R. Blackstock, whose age was not given by the US Attorney's office, is facing two Federal charges after he allegedly pointed the powerful green light at the choppers.
Last October 13th, 2023, he pointed a laser at a Life Flight helicopter that was transporting a patient in the Spokane area. Then, a short time later, he pointed one at the Spokane County Sheriff's Air One Helicopter that was also in the area.
US Attorney Vanessa A. Waldreff released a statement that read in part:
“Pointing a laser at an aircraft can have life-threatening consequences. Spokane County Sheriff’s Deputies protecting the community and first responders life-flighting a patient for medical help face extreme danger from actions like this."
The US Department of Transportation is investigating this incident along with other Federal officials. Blackstock has formally been indicted by a grand jury.
According to The Cheney Free Press from October, 2023, Blackstock registered what are called multiple laser 'strikes' on both choppers. Lasers can blind aircrew, and in some cases can even cause eye damage if they shine in someone's eye.
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