On Wednesday, May 25, 2016, at midnight, Air2 was flying over Richmond Hill returning from patrol when the pilot and tactical flight officer were struck by a bright light source that originated in the area of in the area of Silver Linden and High Tech Road. The crew engaged in safety measures and were able to direct officers to the location of the suspect. The suspect was arrested and has been charged in connection with the incident.
Both the pilot and the tactical flight officer were taken to hospital as a precaution.
Valeri Korakshashvili, of the City of Toronto, has been charged with Endanger Persons on an Aircraft in Flight – Aeronautics Act and Obstruct Peace Officer.
The accused is scheduled to appear before the Ontario Court of Justice in the Town of Newmarket on June 29, 2016.
York Regional Police reminds the public of the potential harm laser pointers can cause. Health Canada advises that a split-second look into a laser pointer can result in a condition called flash blindness. This is similar to the effect you get during flash photography, where the image of the flash remains in your eyes for a few seconds, then fades away. However, for a pilot in control of an aircraft flying over populated areas, the consequences can be serious. Those who aim these pointers at aircraft are putting lives in danger, not only in the aircraft but on the ground. There is a serious potential for harm to the pilot and the prospect of a crash.
“Pointing a laser at an aircraft is intentionally and recklessly putting people’s lives in danger,” said Chief Eric Jolliffe. “York Regional Police takes this offence seriously and remains committed to ensuring the safety of all our officers and citizens, on the ground or in the air.”
Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact York Regional Police #2 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7241, Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com, or text your tip to CRIMES (274637) starting with the word YORK. – CINEWS