FBI investigating Wichita man who aimed laser at KHP plane

December 17, 2018 - 3:10 am

During a search from the air for two suspects wanted in a string of robberies Sunday in South Wichita, pilots with the Kansas Highway Patrol were briefly blinded by a green laser light.

An investigation has been launched by the FBI into a 29-year-old Wichita man after troopers say he pointed a laser at a KHP Air Support Unit. 

"It did it probably five or six different times," said KHP trooper pilot Ryan Tauer, who was inside the plane at the time of the strike. "So, it wasn't an isolated incident and it followed the aircraft as we went along."

Tauer, who spoke with KSNW-TV, said he and his co-pilot were able to track down a suspect, using the camera mounted on the side of the plane. "We were able to look back down at where the laser beam was coming from and pinpoint an address," said Tauer. "We had troopers in the area and they went and spoke with the suspect."

The penalty for pointing a laser at a plane is a fine of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. The FBI will continue to investigate and pass along any findings to the U.S. Attorney who will issue a warrant for the suspect's arrest.

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