You might want to rethink your stoned afternoon activities, because a California man just got one year and nine months in prison for aiming laser pointers at helicopters, Ars Technica reports.
Brett Lee Scott was charged with “firing” (that’s a strong word) two laser pointers at a Kern County Sheriff’s Office helicopter over six months, AT says.
He told prosecutors he was “bored.”
Lasers can cause “a terrifying experience” mimicking temporary blindness if pilots are hit in the eye, AT reports. The FBI began keeping track of laser strikes on aerial vehicles in 2005. Since then, there have been 17,000 such strikes in the U.S.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California Benjamin Wagner had some strong words for Mr. Scott:
“This is a truly senseless crime—and a very serious one… Defendants like Mr. Scott, who thoughtlessly point lasers at an aircraft for their short-sighted amusement, put lives at risk and create the very real possibility that a needless tragedy will occur. My office will continue to prosecute these cases vigorously and will work with the FBI and our local law enforcement partners to send the message that this behavior will not be tolerated.”
So next time you’re bored, maybe reach for Reddit instead?