FBI investigates laser strikes involving Cleveland police, hospital helicopters

 

CLEVELAND – Federal agents and Cleveland police are investigating two recent laser strikes, one involving the city’s police helicopter and the other a MetroHealth Life Flight helicopter.

Both of the laser strikes took place around 10:15 p.m. on July 4.

FBI officials said they believe the laser incidents happened near the 3000 block of West 31st Street in Cleveland.

Police said no one was injured, but that pilots can be distracted or temporarily “flashblinded” by the light from a laser beam.

People often do not realize that traveling over hundreds of feet a tiny, 2-centimeter laser beam spreads to become about 6 feet of light that can block a pilot’s vision, an FBI spokeswoman said.

The FBI said most laser strike incidents reported occur at flights under 10,000 feet with the highest percentage being altitudes under 6,000 feet.

If anyone has any information on last week’s laser strikes please call Cleveland police or the FBI at 216-522-1400. Tips can remain anonymous and reward money is available for the successful identification and prosecution of the person responsible for the laser strikes.