A 39-year-old man who allegedly held a laser beam on an airliner approaching Kelowna International Airport for five minutes is in jail and facing criminal charges and charges under the Aeronautics Act following his violent arrest in Vernon, B.C. The man was arrested with the help of local citizens in a park in the centre of Vernon, which is about 30 km north of the Kelowna Airport and directly under common approaches. The man is alleged to have shone the laser at several airliners on their way to Kelowna and when approached by RCMP he is alleged to have resisted arrest.
“Fortunately, our officers were not physically injured while dealing with this individual,” Const. Chris Terleski said in a statement.“Thankfully, all the involved aircraft were able to land safely. We want to remind the public that pointing a laser at an aircraft poses an extreme risk to aviation and endangers the lives of both the occupants of the aircraft, as well as the people on the ground.”
A group of local citizens located the suspect in the park and told police the direction in which he fled the scene. “The suspect refused to comply with police and physically resisted the arrest until additional officers arrived and safely took the man into custody,” said the statement. The man faces up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine for the laser charges.