Man arrested over helicopter laser incident

A man has been arrested after a laser was pointed at an Otago Rescue Helicopter last month.

Police said they arrested a 33-year-old man on Tuesday in relation to the laser strikes, which happened about 7.30pm on May 22.

The man appeared in the Gore District Court yesterday, charged with endangering transport.

Police said the pilot and crew members on board the aircraft at the time were uninjured but justifiably angry about the incident.

Detective Leigh Waddell, of Gore, said deliberately shining a laser at any aircraft could cause the pilot to become disoriented and temporarily blinded, which could cause them to lose control of the aircraft.

"I think the majority of the public would agree that deliberately endangering an aircraft which has the sole purpose of saving lives is absolutely shocking behaviour.

Police would still like to speak to anybody who witnessed the incident or the subsequent fleeing driver incident around Gore.

Endangering transport carries a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment.

  • Gore police (03) 203-9300; Crimestoppers 0800 555-111.


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