A 29-year old Burien man was arrested Tuesday night (March 13) after pointing a green laser at inbound commercial flights at Sea-Tac Airport as well as at King County Sheriff’s Helicopter, Guardian 1.
Police say that last night at around 9:34 p.m., Guardian 1 was notified by the Sea-Tac Airport control tower that an un-authorized green laser was being pointed at several inbound aircraft. The pilots were reporting that the laser was coming from the Burien Transit Center area.
Guardian 1 flew into the area to try and locate the suspect with the laser and within minutes of arriving near the Burien Transit Center a subject standing at the bus stop pointed a green laser at Guardian 1. The laser caused a brief interruption of their flight duties and prevented them from looking outside the aircraft. Deputies were able to use the FLIR system (camera system) in the helicopter to locate the subject at the bus stop. Deputies on the ground were able to quickly locate the suspect with guidance from Guardian 1. The suspect was arrested, and had the laser on his person and admitted to showing his friend his new laser and “accidently shining the laser near the airport.” He also admitted to purposely shining it at Guardian 1 but “didn’t think it was a big deal.”
The suspect was released at the scene, but the case will be forwarded to Detectives for follow-up. The suspect could face charges of a felony, RCW 9A.49.020 unlawful discharge of a laser in the first degree.
Aiming a laser at an aircraft is a serious safety risk. Visible laser light causes distraction or temporary flash blindness to a pilot, during a critical phase of flight such as landing or takeoff.
— KCSOAirsupport (@KCSOAirsupport) March 14, 2018