Belfast Telegraph

Man charged after police helicopter targeted with laser during drug searches

A police helicopter was targeted by a man.
A police helicopter was targeted by a man.

A 27-year-old man has been charged with a number of offences after a police helicopter was targeted with a laser.

Police were carrying out searches relating to drug dealing in north Lurgan when a laser was shined into their helicopter from the ground.

A man was then pursued by police, before he took refuge in a house after discarding the laser.

Police tracked him in their helicopter and the man was then arrested.

A man now been charged with shining a light to dazzle or distract a pilot, endagering the safety of an aircraft, causing danger to road-users by using a larger light and disorderly behaviour.

He is expected to appear before Lisburn Magistrates Court on Monday.

"Fantastic work by PSNI Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon to introduce a Darwinian Award winner to the custody suite," a PSNI spokesperson said.

"While supporting your local police who were targeting drug dealing activity in North Lurgan we were attacked by a 'gentleman' with a laser.

"Imagine for a second what would happen if a helicopter full of aviation fuel lost control and came down on a residential housing estate."

The PSNI spokesperson said that the helicopter was a vital resource for the community.

The laser shone at a police helicopter.
The laser shone at a police helicopter.

"An attack on the helicopter is an attack on the community. On Friday it was up over north Lurgan helping us find Jim. Yesterday it was up helping us target drug dealers. Who knows what this week will bring. It could be stolen cars, burglars on the move, or more missing people," the spokesperson said.

"Whatever it is, the eye in the sky is a vital tool, and risking the the crew not only puts those on the ground at risk, but damages the service we can give the whole community."

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