Border Patrol helicopter in Detroit gets targeted by laser from Canada

Michigan

Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations

DETROIT, Mich. (WLNS) – A border patrol helicopter conducting operations over protests in Detroit was targeted by a laser from Canada on Wednesday evening.

The AS-350 helicopter was struck by a green laser from Windsor, Ontario.

An official was able to relay the exact location to Windsor Police while the crew was able to maneuver the aircraft along the Detroit River until police arrived and took one person into custody.

“I am very thankful that our pilots were not injured in this incident and that our Canadian counterparts were there to assist us at a moment’s notice,” said Marc Sledge, Director, Air and Marine Operations, Great Lakes Air and Marine Branch.

Border Patrol wants to remind the public that lasers present a serious risk to pilots, who can suffer flash blindness as well as permanent vision damage. Laser incidents can also threaten the safety of innocent people on the ground.

While it is not illegal to own a hand-held laser, shining it into an aircraft cockpit is a federal crime with a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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