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Florida man charged with aiming red laser at helicopter

Posted at 4:06 PM, Feb 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-17 16:06:59-05

CLEARWATER, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man has been charged with pointing a laser at a law enforcement helicopter.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office helicopter was monitoring a fire in Clearwater early Sunday when its crew spotted the laser coming from a nearby yard.

A sheriff's office statement says 48-year-old Brian Harting shined a red laser at the helicopter three times from his backyard.

According to the statement, Harting told deputies that he did not know it was illegal to aim a laser at the aircraft.

Harting was charged with felony misuse of a laser lighting device and held at the county jail. Bond was set at $25,000.

Jail records did not show whether Harting had an attorney. He had been released from the jail Feb. 10 after posting bond on a heroin possession charge.