Michael Cerise Going to Jail for Pointing a Laser at Three in-Flight Aircraft Out of Curiosity

ryan_reynolds.jpg
Green laser-pointing is Ryan Reynolds' job.
Curiosity will cost 47-year-old Michael Cerise 90 days of freedom after Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Karen Potts sentenced him to jail yesterday.

Cerise must also serve an additional three years of probation following his 90-day bid for the November 2011 laser-pointing that injured three pilots.

"The consequences of this defendant's reckless actions could have been unbelievably catastrophic to passengers in the air and residents on the ground," Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery says in a statement. "This case should send a clear message to anyone thinking about pulling a senseless stunt like this. Pointing lasers at aircraft is dangerous, stupid and illegal."

Cerise made the decision to shine his laser-pointer at aircraft passing over the Phoenix metro area on November 9, 2011. That night, the Phoenix Police Air Unit was alerted to calls of a green laser being pointed at a U.S. Airways flight carrying 200 passengers and a Frontier Airlines flight carrying 130 passengers.

The U.S. Airways flight had to change its landing course to avoid the beams of laser-light, according to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office statement.

The pilot of the Phoenix Police helicopter responding to the calls was struck with the laser-pointer and partially blinded.

Another officer in the helicopter spotted where the light was coming from -- a dummy on his patio.

Cerise bought the laser-pointer at a yard sale, and was determined to see how far it could travel. Cerise initially denied that he pointed the laser beams in the sky, but eventually admitted that he was just curious to see how far it could go.

To answer Cerise's question, the beam apparently went pretty far -- far enough to change the landing course of a commercial airplane, and far enough to partially blind a helicopter pilot.



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10 comments
robert_graham
robert_graham

And he should go to jail because pointing a laser at an aircraft is ILLEGAL!

ptcgaz
ptcgaz

this guy was pretty stupid. I mean really oh I pointed it at the sky to see how far it would go.. Really what did he think was gonna happen? A UFO would pop out of the sky and abduct him?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

When Lasers are Outlawed, only Outlaws will have Lasers.

b4peace
b4peace

Gosh.  I never thought I would find a topic where I agreed with Montgomery, but c'mon.  Cerise is 47 years old.  How could he be that clueless?

david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

funny, Monty the lap dog doesnt seem to care at all about arpaio's "reckless actions that are unbelievably catastrophic to residents on the ground," 

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

Sounds a little dramatic, far-fetched, exaggerated, a bit over the top: Changed course, partially blinded, uhuh

 

JustDoIt
JustDoIt

 @PalmalaHanderson

 OoLaLa, Snarf and Barf it right from wikipedia, I say lets have the Phoenix New Times actually find the officer, run a story on how 2 out of 3 doctors prove this guy actually is partially blinded and see how well that holds up: Again "far-fetched, exaggerated, a bit over the top" I think so... Prove IT!

PalmalaHanderson
PalmalaHanderson

 @maximummccoyActually . . it's about the same.

 

 Even the first laser was recognized as being potentially dangerous. Theodore Maiman characterized the first laser as having a power of one "Gillette" as it could burn through one Gillette razor blade. Today, it is accepted that even low-power lasers with only a few milliwatts of output power can be hazardous to human eyesight, when the beam from such a laser hits the eye directly or after reflection from a shiny surface. At wavelengths which the cornea and the lens can focus well, the coherence and low divergence of laser light means that it can be focused by the eye into an extremely small spot on the retina, resulting in localized burning and permanent damage in seconds or even less time.

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