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WATCH: Hit by laser, police helicopter tracks driver with infrared camera; Va. man charged

Hit by laser, police helicopter tracks driver with infrared camera; Va. man charged. (Fairfax County Police)

After their police helicopter was repeatedly hit by a blue light laser Saturday night, the crew used an infrared camera to track the source of the light.

The Fairfax One crew identified the vehicle where the laser came from and directed officers on the ground to the vehicle.

Following an investigation, police charged Carlos Zapata Rivero, 45, of Centreville, with Shining a Light/Laser Pointer at an Aircraft, 5.1-22, a class 1 misdemeanor, according to a statement from Fairfax County Police.

Police informed the Federal Aviation Administration of the incident and a federal investigation will be conducted, police say.

A reminder from Fairfax County Police:

It is extremely dangerous to point a light or laser at any aircraft because it can temporarily blind the flight crew. You may think the light beam cannot reach the aircraft because you don’t see how far it travels, however it does. A laser can be easily traced back to where it came from and violators will be charged.

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