Man Shines Laser At Police Aircraft

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Talk about the wrong target. A San Jose man is in jail for shining a laser at both a private airplane and a sheriff's helicopter that responded to the incident.

The helicopter pilot and spotter were able to pinpoint the laser pointer's location to San Jose police on the ground, and officers arrived within minutes and arrested Chrisopher Bengel, 24.

Bengel was charged with two felony counts of interfering with an airborne aircraft. Police say a handheld laser pointer was found at his home.

The incident comes just days after the Federal Aviation Administration reported incidents of lasers being pointed at aircraft nearly doubled last year to more than 2,800 nationwide.

Lasers can put planes and passengers at risk by distracting and even temporarily blinding pilots, the FAA said. Most of the incidents occurred during takeoffs and landings.

There were no injuries requiring medical attention in the San Jose incident, but police say the spotter on the helicopter "suffered temporary flash blindness."

Bengel was being held on $10,000 bail at Santa Clara County Jail.

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