A 37-year-old Dallas man has been indicted on a federal count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft in the Class 4 Laser Pointer shining on a Texas Department of Public Safety helicopter.
A US attorney's statement says FBI agents arrested Orlando Jose Chapa on Wednesday and made his initial federal court appearance in Dallas on Thursday.
According to the indictment filed on Sept. 16, Chapa knowingly aimed the beam Safety Laser Pointer at a DPS helicopter on May 30, 2015.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to five years in prison and fined up to $250,000.
Federal records list no attorney for Chapa, whose personal telephone number is not listed.
Treat any High power green laser pointers like a loaded gun.
Never ever aim one at another person even if you think it cannot be accidentally turned on.
Never ever aim one at a pet or other animal. Bugs are exempt.
Never ever aim one into the sky without proper assurance that there are no aircraft of any type in the area, regardless of the distance.
Do NOT use a high powered Laser Pointer as a presentation pointer even if it has a low power mode. Careless accidents can happen.
Even if in an enclosed room, do NOT aim one anywhere that may have a specular (shiny) reflective surface.
For similar reasons, never aim one out a window - you're endangering outsiders as well as yourself from possible reflections from the glass.Do NOT stare at the spot even on a diffuse surface up close as there may be enough reflected power to cause eye damage.
Do NOT aim one at anything that may be flammable or damaged by heat, expecially dark surfaces which absorb most of the incident light. And keep in mind that while popping balloons itself is not dangerous, when the balloon pops, the laser beam hits whatever is behind it!
Do NOT even consider using a high power laser as a defensive weapon. Aside from numerous other obvious reasons, your attacker could grab it and use it against you.
For your use, follow all general guidelines for high power lasers including the use of appropriate laser safety eye wear. For up to 1 to 2 W this would be OD3 at the laser wavelength. However, a higher OD number is generally not recommended as having where the beam falls be visible is important.
Never look into the output-end of a high power laser even if it is off but with the battery installed, and even with laser safety eye wear.
When not in use, remove the battery and any interlocks, keys, or battery cap and store separately.