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Man charged with pointing a laser at police helicopter

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By Curt Yeomans

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    LAWRENCEVILLE, Georgia (Gwinnett Daily Post) — A Lawrenceville man was arrested after Gwinnett police said he pointed a laser at their helicopter as it was flying near Twin Brook Way Thursday.

Theodore Rowe, 50, was charged with Laser Use Against an Aircraft. Police Officer Senior Hideshi Valle said a green laser was pointed at the cockpit of the police department’s helicopter while it was doing surveillance in the area around Twin Brook Way shortly after 10 p.m. on Thursday.

“The pilot of the helicopter was able to guide officers to the location where the person was pointing the laser,” Valle said. “When officers arrived, they met with Theodore Rowe, who initially denied pointing the laser at the aircraft. When Rowe was confronted with the fact that he was on video pointing the laser, he admitted to officers that he pointed the laser at the helicopter.”

Valle said a pilot’s ability to operate an aircraft is hindered when a laser is pointed at the aircraft and the laser also interferes with the aircraft’s equipment. As a result, Gwinnett police are stressing the fact that pointing a laser at any type of aircraft is illegal.

The case against Rowe is bing referred to the Federal Aviation Administration and that it will be presented to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for possible prosecution.

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