OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma City man is facing charges after he was accused of pointing a pistol outfitted with a laser pointer at a police helicopter.
Police say this is something that happens often and it is always dangerous.
“Obviously, that’s against the law and that can have very tragic results if things go wrong because of that,” said MSgt. Gary Knight, with the Oklahoma City Police Department.
According to the police report, OKCPD’s Air One helicopter was flying over the city’s southwest side around 5 a.m. on Thursday morning when the officers onboard noticed a laser pointed at them.
They were able to spot the alleged suspect, 26-year-old Corey Gene Shipman.
“They saw the man laying on the ground at a residence,” Knight said. “He then went into the house.”
Officers on the ground were contacted and sent to Shipman’s address.
Once there, they spotted him inside with a gun. They then began working on a plan to get him out safely.
“He ended up simply coming out, spoke to them,” Knight said.
Shipman was arrested and is facing charges of pointing a laser at an aircraft as well as pointing a firearm since that laser was on a pistol.
KFOR Chopper 4 Pilot Mason Dunn says in the past, he’s witnessed the dangers laser pointers pose when you’re operating aircraft.
“You fly at night, you keep the cockpit very dark so you can see outside and it’s very distracting,” Dunn said. “You might think it’s a warning light and it distracts you and it can blind you from seeing what you need to see, so there’s a reason it’s a federal offense to shine a light at an aircraft.”
This type of crime has been on the rise.
The Federal Aviation Administration reported more than 6,800 laser incidents in 2020, the highest reported number since 2016.
KFOR tried contacting Shipman but has not received a response.