Laser pointed at Dulles flight
Loudoun County sheriff's officials are investigating a report of a laser light being shined into the cockpit of an inbound flight to Dulles International Airport, and believe a teenager is responsible, authorities said.
It was the latest of several recent instances of laser-pointing at aircraft, including planes and helicopters. It is a crime in Virginia to interfere with the operation of an aircraft,and aviation officials believe it endangers lives.
The crew of the Dulles-bound flight reported that the laser was seen at about 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff's Department. A 15-year-old Leesburg boy was identified being involved in the incident, said Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office.
The plane was approaching the airport over the intersection of Routes 7 and 28 in Sterling, Troxell said. The Sheriff's office received similar reports on Aug. 27, he said, when lasers were pointed at another plane as well as vehicles driving in the Lansdowne area. Investigators identified several juveniles who were involved with the Aug. 27 incident, Troxell said.
"During this latest incident, a deputy hearing the call knew about the incidents and located a juvenile who was responsible," Troxell said. The deputy apprehended the teenager at his home, where the laser was recovered.
The case is pending, and it is unknown whether the teenager was acting alone or with other juveniles on Wednesday, Troxell said.
Fairfax police also have charged several people with pointing lasers at aircraft. There was 20 such incidents in Virginia last year and 14 in Maryland.
-- Caitlin Gibson
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