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A Florida man was on Wednesday arrested after shining a laser pointer at the multiple pilots making their approaches in the Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport, police said.
Charlie and James Chapman, Jr., 41, faces multiple charges after police said he was temporarily blinded one of the pilots. Video claims to show him with the throwing of the stones, and the operation of the laser at a Manatee County Sheriff’s helicopter in an attempt to find him.
“The aim of a laser at multiple aircraft, are not good for Charlie Chapman, Jr.,” the MCSO said it on Facebook. He was arrested after pointing it at the planes on the way to the SRQ Airport last night, and the MCSO Aviation Unit helicopter. He even tried to throw rocks at the helicopter!”
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With the MSCO the Aviation unit’s helicopter and eventually located the suspect, a fork-lift truck in the vicinity of the airport, where they addressed delegates on the floor around him. Chapman allegedly picked up a hammer, and an eye-catching move in the direction of the deputies, who deployed a Taser and subdued the suspect.
“It was later learned that Chapman to shoot his laser pointer on a fixed-wing aircraft, four times, and one time in the MCSO helicopter,” police said. “One of the pilots of the plane that the laser hits him directly in the eyes, causing temporary blindness. The pilot stated that he was still feeling his eyes and the blurry of the laser.”
Charlie And James Chapman, Jr., 41, And
(Manatee County Sheriff’s Office)
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Chapman was transported to Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, where he was adopted and sent to the Manatee County Jail, according to police. They add that a laser pointer was found in his pocket.
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He was charged with aggravated assault on an officer, pointing a laser at a pilot, with and without injury, and resisting without violence.