Originally published on Wed March 27, 2013 8:16 am
A man in California has been sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison for pointing a laser at a small jet as it approached the runway at Burbank airport.
Adam Gardenhire, 19, of North Hollywood, was sentenced on Monday after pleading guilty in October to one count of aiming a laser pointer at an aircraft, according to The Pasadena Star-News.
He was arrested on March 29 after authorities said he aimed a "commercial-grade" green laser at the NetJet Cessna Citation coming in for a landing, reportedly leaving the pilot temporarily with impaired vision. Later, authorities say Gardenhire pointed the laser at a police helicopter sent to identify the source of the concentrated light.
The judge in Garedenhire's case said the prison term should serve to send a message to others, according to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Laser-pointing laws are common in many states and the president last year signed a measure to make it a federal crime to deliberately aim a laser at an aircraft.