Man gets 33 months for aiming laser at helicopter

Pictured: James Gautieri

April 13, 2011 4:30:05 PM PDT
A central Pennsylvania man has been ordered to spend more than two years in prison for pointing a high-powered laser into the cockpit of a Philadelphia police helicopter.

A federal judge on Wednesday also ordered 54-year-old James Gautieri, of Williamsport, to pay a $10,000 fine. He was convicted in September, 2010 of for interference with an aircraft or aircraft facilities.

In July of that year, police say Gautieri aimed a laser into the cockpit of a helicopter that was landing in northeast Philadelphia. The pilot was temporarily blinded but the aircraft landed safely.

Authorities say the officers kept a search light on Gautieri until police arrived to arrest him.