PHILADELPHIA - A Philadelphia man is in custody on charges he shined a green laser pointer at a patrolling police helicopter, temporarily blinding both officers in it.
The incident happened about 8:30 p.m. Thursday, police said.
Jose Feliciano, 19, was charged with aggravated assault, risking a catastrophe and possessing an instrument of crime, that being the recovered laser pointer.
City police said federal officials could review the incident for possible charges. It is a federal crime to aim a laser at an aircraft. High-powered lasers can incapacitate pilots.
More than 2,200 laser incidents were reported nationally through Aug. 2.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating incidents of two commercial airliners and a private helicopter being illuminated by lasers near Newark, N.J., Thursday night.
The helicopter was illuminated with a green and white laser at 1,600 feet, about 10 miles south of Newark, around 9:20 p.m., the FAA said.
About a half-hour later, a Boeing 737 and an Embraer 135 were targeted with a green laser on final approach to Newark Liberty International Airport. They were at an altitude of 3,000 feet, one mile east of Teterboro Airport.
No injuries were reported.
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