South Croydon man fined for dazzling police helicopter with laser
A MAN has been fined after dazzling a police helicopter with a laser light.
On Monday at Croydon Magistrates' Court Lukasz Tetich, 28, of Selsdon Road in South Croydon, admitted shining the light to distract the pilots.
Tetich was arrested during the evening of February 11 after a police helicopter had to end its search for a burglary suspect when the pilots became completely dazzled by a laser that was being directly shone onto their aircraft.
The pilots, then distracted from their search, started to film the defendant, who continued to flash the light at the helicopter on and off for 12 minutes.
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Tetich was then arrested at the scene once officers had established his location.
He at first pleaded guilty to recklessness, and said he had been using the light to play with his dog in his garden, but he then accepted that he had indeed meant to shine the laser on to the aircraft when he was shown CCTV footage of the incident.
The CCTV, which was shown to Tetich before the magistrates came into the court, showed the pilots alarm at the light, meaning they had no choice but to cut short their operation.
They then continued to direct officers to the flashing beam until Tetich was found at his home.
Tetich, of previously good character, was ordered to a pay a fine of £465 and the laser pen was destroyed.
Speaking after the case Sergeant Andy Hutchinson, operations manager for the Met's Air Support Unit said: "Shining any sort of light at an aircraft is dangerous, and also illegal.
"The consequences of shining a laser at a helicopter operating over London do not bear thinking about.
"We will always endeavour to seek out those who chose to engage in such behaviour, and ensure they are put before a court."