ST. LOUIS (AP) — The FBI is using a St. Louis-area case to highlight the danger of aiming a laser pointer at aircraft.

At a news conference Monday at the FBI’s St. Louis office, 26-year-old Justin Stouder talked about the incident that got him into trouble.

In April 2010, Stouder and a friend were in his yard in O’Fallon, Mo., playing with a laser pointer that he aimed at a helicopter. It turned out to be a police helicopter a mile-and-a-half away.

Pilot Doug Reinholz says the laser grows as it gets further from the source, and the light was blinding. He was able to turn away and avoid crashing, then turned a spotlight on Stouder’s home. He was arrested but avoided prosecution, though he had to go through a year of probation.

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press

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