Person charged with blinding VSP pilot with laser pointer

Virginia State Police (FILE)
Virginia State Police (FILE)(WVIR)
Published: May. 17, 2022 at 3:10 PM EDT
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CREWE, Va. (WWBT) - Virginia State Police said it charged a person accused of blinding one of their pilots with a laser pointer.

VSP said they were helping the Nottoway County Sheriff’s Office with a search for a suspect near Crewe on Monday evening.

A Virginia State Police Trooper Pilot was flying a plane as part of the search when the pilot was temporarily blinded by a laser pointer used by a person on the ground, police said.

“Once the pilot was able to regain sight several minutes later, he and his co-pilot, another trooper, were able to identify the source of the laser and provide troopers on the ground with an exact location and address,” a release said.

While the plane continued to circle the area, police said the laser would strike and follow the aircraft.

Authorities said they found the person and laser pointer at a home along Melody Lane.

Tabitha A. Crater, 40, was arrested and charged with one felony count of interfering with the operation of an aircraft.

The FAA was notified of the incident.

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