Rhode Island Man Charged After Pointing Laser at Landing Plane

by nph | September 12th, 2011

Continental Airlines

Continental Airlines

September 12, 2011

A 32-year-old male from Rhode Island was sentenced today for directing a high-powered laser at a Continental Airlines flight that was landing at T.F. Green Airport near Oakland Beach in Warwick, Rhode Island, last year.

After pleading guilty to interfering with the operation of an aircraft in January, the man began undergoing mental health counseling. He faced up to 20 years in prison.

Today he was sentenced with six months home confinement and five years probation, in addition to being made to submit to 72 annual drug tests and to perform 500 hours of community service.

“What you did was not only incredibly dangerous, but also incredibly stupid,” said Chief U.S. District Court Judge Mary M. Lisi on Monday. “It’s time to grow up. Time to think about the consequences of what you’re doing.”

The incident occurred September 15, 2010, when the man shone a powerful green laser light into the cockpit of a passenger airplane, momentarily blinding the pilot of Flight 2152 and endangering the lives of about two dozen passengers and crew members.

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Do you think this man received an appropriate sentence for this crime?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, contact the national aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy.