By David Brand
A Brooklyn man was arrested and charged in Federal Court Monday for shining a laser pointer into the cockpit of a helicopter flying in the vicinity of LaGuardia Airport.
Douglas Tetreau is facing charges for allegedly tracking the flight of the helicopter with the laser and pointing it into the cockpit, dangerously affecting the pilot’s ability to operate the aircraft. The helicopter was providing security the United Nations General Assembly.
“A bright green beam of light penetrated the cockpit of the helicopter,” said one of the pilots, according to court documents.
One of the two copilots tracked the laser and identified the source to 219 Devoe Street in Brooklyn. According to court documents, Tetreau told investigators that he was aiming the pointer at a drone. He gave investigators the device when they visited his home.
One of the pilots said “that since [the pilots] were operating in the vicinity of the approach path for LaGuardia Airport, located in Queens, New York, they had illuminated all external lights on the aircraft so they would be visible to aircraft on approach to LaGuardia Airport.”
Tetreau was released on his own recognizance. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison.