Tags: Helicopter Laser Florida

Federal Charge for Shining Laser at Helicopter

Wednesday, 12 Jan 2011 07:26 PM

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been charged in federal court after being accused last year of shining a laser into the cockpit of a sheriff's helicopter and temporarily blinding the pilot.

Court records show 58-year-old Mark Clay Hazlitt of Lakeland was charged Tuesday with interference with operation of aircraft. He was taken into federal custody Wednesday.

Hazlitt was first arrested in November by Polk County deputies after a sheriff's helicopter pilot identified Hazlitt's home as the source of a laser light. Deputies say Hazlitt told them that he was tired of hearing the helicopter fly over his house.

After-hours attempts to reach the Federal Public Defender's Office in Tampa on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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