Solano County

Suspect Arrested on Suspicion of Pointing Laser at CHP Airplane in the North Bay

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Authorities on Monday arrested a suspect accused of pointing a laser at a California Highway Patrol airplane in the North Bay.

The plane was heading for the Napa County Airport when around 10:50 p.m. the suspect pointed a blue laser at it from the ground, striking the pilot in the eye, according to the CHP - Golden Gate Division Air Operations.

The pilot, Officer Jan Sears, was able to maintain control of the plane thanks to autopilot being engaged, the CHP said. The flight officer moved a camera toward the direction of the laser strike and recorded the suspect continuing to shine the laser at the plane.

"I'm still having residual effects with my left eye," Sears said. "I feel that something has happened."

Solano County sheriff's deputies responded to the location where the laser strikes were coming from and found the suspect and the laser, according to the CHP.

The suspect, identified as Christopher Larsen, was arrested for two felonies and booked into the Solano County Jail, the CHP said. The suspect could face federal charges and FAA fines.

The CHP said there have been "several" reports made to the Travis Air Force Base tower regarding military and civilian aircraft being hit by lasers in recent days. It wasn't immediately clear if Monday night's case was related to those reports.

The Solano County Sheriff's Office is conducting an investigation.

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