O’Fallon Man Gets House Arrest, Probation for Laser Pointer Stunt
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) — An impulsive prank while playing around with a laser pointer lands an O’Fallon man on house arrest.
A federal judge sentenced Michael Brandon Smith Thursday to two years of probation, two months home confinement and 40 hours of community service. The 36-year-old admitted to pointing a laser at a Metro St. Louis Air Support Police helicopter last May.
According to court documents, a police helicopter was dispatched to a possible burglary in progress at a school located near 200 Meriwether in St. Charles County. As the helicopter began a search of the Meriwether property, the pilot and observer noted that the helicopter was struck several times by a green laser beam. When the beam struck the glass of the helicopter, it impacted the vision of the pilot and observer. As a result, the helicopter had to pull away from the search of the Meriwether property.
The helicopter then proceeded toward the direction of the laser beam and was struck again by the beam. The pilot and observer were asked to locate the source of the green laser beam and determined that it came from a residence in the 2700 block of Red Cedar Parc Drive South, in O’Fallon.
The pilot and observer saw the Smith standing in his driveway with the laser. O’Fallon police responded to that location and saw the Smith with a laser pointer in his hand. He was arrested and the laser was seized.
Smith pled guilty in November to one felony count of aiming the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft.