REGINA - Regina Police Service has issued a warning to the public of the serious consequences of pointing lasers at aircraft while the aircraft is in flight.
Police sent out the statement issuing this warning after “multiple instances of laser strikes on the RPS Aerial Support Unit aircraft, as well as other aircraft flying over the city,” according to their news release.
Regina Police point to the following incidents that happened this year alone:
- The first incident involving Regina Police Service Aerial Support Unit happened in January, resulting in a 34 year-old male charged with Mischief Over $5000 and Mischief Endangering Life.
- A second incident on the aerial support unit was on May 16, with a 52 year-old Regina male arrested and charged with Mischief Endangering Life and Obstruction.
- July 29 saw a male located after pointing a laser at the police plane, and the 34 year-old was arrested and charged with Mischief Endangering Life.
- August 7, police arrested a 50 year-old male also,suspected in a laser strike incident. Police report that the search of the suspect revealed a substance believed to be methamphetamine, along with a laser pointer. The male was charged with two counts of Mischief Endangering Life.
- Sept. 8, another incident of a male pointing a laser at ASU. The 48 year-old Regina male was arrested and charged with Mischief Endangering Life.
- Sept. 11, more incidents, this time with both the aerial support unit as well as another aircraft flying over the city both struck. Two males, 38 and 31, were arrested by Patrol and each was charged with Mischief Endangering Life.
Police say the incidents were not related to each other, and there is not one specific area the suspects carried out the strikes from. In each of these cases, aerial support unit officers used the onboard technology to quickly confirm and locate the suspects.
Regina Police Service says it is also aware of multiple other aircraft also being hit. They cite the serious risk to safety to those on board as well as to people below.
They say they will “continue to investigate reports of this occurrence and hold offenders accountable.” Regina Airport Authority and Regina Police Service are calling on the public to report any incident where a laser or direct bright light source is pointed into the cockpit of an aircraft in flight. Anyone with information could call the Regina Police Service at 306-777-6500.
They are also reminding the public that under the Criminal Code, Mischief Endangering Life carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
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