Caught in the Act: Man Arrested for Aiming Laser at Helicopter

Thirty five hundred incidents, increase in improper laser use reported this year.
1:53 | 02/05/13

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Transcript for Caught in the Act: Man Arrested for Aiming Laser at Helicopter
And up next here, a growing hazard in the air. It just happened in san francisco. And our abc station there, kgo, caught it on tape. Pilots stunned by light aimed at their eyes. Abc's senior national correspondent jim avila took to the skies to bring us the story. Reporter: It starts as a bright narrow beam of green light at ground level. But by the time it gets to the cockpit, this laser explodes into a blinding, bright flash. A genuine hazard for pilots. You might think it's fun, but it's extremely dangerous. Reporter: San francisco news copter trained his camera on two men walking down the sidewalk, capturing their crime on tape. The second time the kgo cop or the was lasered. This time, a red light. The guy kept doing it over and over again. Reporter: Police arrested the prankster, now facing $11,000 federal fine. The faa, fbi and local police cracking down after a jump in laser attacks. Got him. Reporter: From 300 in 2005 to nearly 3,500 last year. And january of this year, a record pace of nearly 350 laser sightings. We just got lasered up here. Reporter: This is a jetblue pilot having difficulty approaching jfk in new york. Can you have medical personnel meet at the gate? The first officer is having vision problems. Reporter: In glendale, california, we flight with a night police patrol that uses an infrared camera and area tracking devices, arresting 16 laser pointers in the last year and a half. Chief pilot steve robertson was attacked himself, suffering two burned corneas. You take the vision from a pilot, that aircraft's ability to land is greatly compromising. Reporter: On the lookout for a light that blinds, rather than illuminates. Jim avila, abc news, washington.

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