When a Fresno, Calif. man allegedly shot a high-powered green laser at a police helicopter pilot in October, he successfully hit the pilot’s eyes and blinded him — at least momentarily, police said.
That was Michael Alvarez’ goal with the laser pointer, authorities said: He “thought it would be funny to point the laser at a helicopter” from the car he was driving with some passengers just after midnight on Oct. 22, according to new federal charging documents reported by Ars Technica.
Unfortunately for Alvarez, the alleged stunt revealed his location, according to police. He was spotted driving a white, four-door Toyota north on Highway 99, federal charging documents said.
After getting hit by Alvarez’ high-powered laser three times back in October, police said that the helicopter was able to shine its searchlight on the car the laser was coming from, the Fresno Bee reported. The helicopter continued to track the car’s movements from the air as officers on the ground started pursuing his vehicle.
Alvarez, 31, was indicted Nov. 9 on federal charges for the incident, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California. If convicted, Alvarez could face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
You know what its like when your at Chuck-E-Cheese and your playing ski-ball for hours on end to save up the 8,000 tickets to win the key chain laser pointer? Well this guy does. Who hasn’t had a grand ole time, trying to blind their buddies with one of these things, or trying to make the cat bounce its head off the wall. Boys will be boys. You always hear these myths but no one believes them.
I never heard of someone actually getting blinded by one of these things, and this guy was apparently a serial laser pointer-er. He must have gotten his hands on some kind of James Bond quality laser pointer, and decided he was really going to fuck with some people. Being branded as the laser pointing assassin isn’t exactly the best way to build street cred or the comedy following he was searching for.
Alvarez was arrested on Oct. 22, charged with shining a laser at an aircraft — a felony — reckless driving, and possessing narcotics, the Fresno Bee reported.
I can’t imagine the odds this guy had to actually directly connect with a helicopter pilots pupil from, what I imagine to be, 1 million feet away. Its either precision accuracy or absolute shit luck. Either way, this sorry sack now has to pay a $250,000 fine. Finally some justice for substitute teachers everywhere who have been putting up with these shenanigans for years.
Next time you think its funny to shine one of these things in somebody’s eye ball (it always is), maybe you’ll think of the consequences to your actions, because the precedent has now been set that it’ll cost you 250k and 5 years if you get caught, no matter what.
In reality this has to have been more then a little “I thought it would be funny” situation. I’ve owned dozens of these things and theres no chance in hell I’m sniping one of these bastards up to a helicopter. These dudes were wielding some type of Star Wars caliber light saber here. In which case, maybe don’t try to blind police officers with your sorcery. If you get one of these things, act accordingly.