Green Laser Pointed at Police Helicopter Results in Arrest of Phoenix Man

A Phoenix man who allegedly shined a laser at a police helicopter was arrested with the help, naturally, of the pilots.

The chopper had been flying in the area of 2300 W. Port Royal Lane, south of Greenway Road, at about 10:20 p.m. when the flyboys noticed someone shining a laser at them.

With direction from the helicopter crew, ground officers found and arrested Conrad Rzewuski, 24. He was booked into the Maricopa County Jail on suspicion of two counts of endangerment, which is considered a class 6 -- or lowest grade -- felony.

We asked Phoenix Sergeant Tommy Thompson this morning whether the laser was red or green.

Green ones are more dangerous to the human eye because the color is "more easily absorbed by the retina than red," the New York Times reported back in February. Some lasers being sold can be more powerful than typical pointers, too. That article also relates how in the last five years, the number of incidents reported in which people point laser pointers at aircraft has increased "ninefold."

Thompson tells us Rzewuski had used a green laser and recalled that last year, a pilot had to take time off work after a similar incident because of temporary blindness. Our other question: Just what makes someone do this?

"Foolishness," Thompson answers without missing a beat. "This guy probably had no idea he'd be sitting in a jail cell on two counts of endangerment."

Tempting as it may be, pointing lasers at aircraft just isn't a good idea.

If not for others, think about the fact that one of these flying targets could crash into you

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.