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.
Allentown, PA 18102