Oklahoma fire captain on paid leave during investigation of laser pointed at airplane

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ENID, Okla. - An Oklahoma firefighter is on paid administrative leave and under investigation as authorities look into an incident involving a laser pointer aimed at an airplane.

It was October 15th when a bright green laser was reportedly pointed at a plane as it landed and took off at the Enid Woodring Regional Airport.

Right now, the Enid Fire Department is trying to figure out if one of their own was involved.

"We consider him a valuable member of the department," said Fire Marshal Ken Helms.

The department has confirmed the firefighter’s identity to NewsChannel 4, but we are not releasing his name since he has not been arrested or charged with a crime.

According to a police report, the pilot said the “light was shining the entire time he was taking off until he reached a point beyond the northern edge of the airport.”

Police were led just north of Woodring.

It's where they allegedly found a couple of people, including the firefighter.

Officers said, on the property, was a dart gun with a laser on it.

One of the subjects claimed they were in the pasture “medicating cattle” with the gun.

The department said their firefighter was off duty at the time of the incident.

“Our procedure is, when we have allegations against our members, we do an investigation to determine if discipline is appropriate,” Helms said.

Stories like this have made national news.

In recent months, there have been numerous instances where people have pointed lasers at planes, which is a very serious crime.

“It isn't funny," said Dan Ohnesorge, the Woodring Airport Director. "It isn't fun for a pilot, and you're potentially causing a catastrophic accident."

He explained how laser lights affect a pilot.

"If you’re driving your car down I-35 at 70 miles an hour and, all of a sudden, you're blinded," Ohnesorge said. "It's kind of like that, although a little bit worse."

Those at the department are hoping their crew member is not the culprit who displayed bad judgement.

The fire department said its investigation could wrap up in a few days.

NewsChannel 4 got a hold of the firefighter's father Wednesday and told him to have his son call for comment.

At this time, we have not heard from him.

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