Transcript for Medical Helicopter Pilot Blinded By Laser
A pilot of a medevac helicopter in the middle of a critical mission transporting a patient blinded by a laser pointed directly into the cockpit. What happened next? There's a federal investigation this morning and abc's susan saulny is on the story. Good morning. Reporter: Good morning, dan. A medical helicopter team was in the process of trying to save a life alrhen all of a sudden they needed to save one of their open. It was a rescue that nearly went wrong. This morning federal authorities and dallas person are looking for the person who blinded this medevac helicopter a laser pointer. Michael peruto was severely burned when a smartphone on the ground shined a green laser into the cockpit hitting him in the eyes. Prue pruett suffered a severe burn forcing him to make a landing so he could be rushed to the hospital. It can produce such a high amount of energy. It can be permanent damage. Reporter: It's been on the rise with at least 75 reported this month after more than 3,000 last year. Pilots are extraordinarily vulnerable to this because there's nothing that you can wear that will flash close. Reporter: The suspect could face a penalty of up to $250,000 and five years in prison. Interfering with flight crew is a federal crime. The fbi has looked into these and located some of them, arrested. Several have been prosecuted. Reporter: Still many are not aware with the risks of a laser. You wouldn't think of a laser bringing down an airplane full of pilot. You could end up killing 400 people. You take the vision from a pilot, that aircraft's ability to land is greatly compromised. Reporter: And the passengers on board are all lucky to be alive but authorities are cracking down on these incidents to prevent them from getting any worse. Bianna. Yeah, some states are trying to enact stiffer penalties. Susan, thanks to you.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.