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Deltona man accused of pointing laser at Volusia Sheriff's Office helicopter

Pilot says green light hindered ability to fly

DELTONA, Fla. – A Deltona man is accused of pointing a laser at a Volusia County Sheriff's Office helicopter, obstructing the pilot's ability to see and operate the aircraft, deputies said.

VCSO Air One was patrolling the area of Dixie Belle Avenue in Deltona for a stolen vehicle Tuesday around 11 p.m. when the pilot advised that a green laser was directed at the helicopter, according to an arrest report. Deputies said the light temporarily blinded the pilot and obstructed his ability to fly.

The pilot told deputies that the light was pointed at him twice and he was able to give deputies a location of where the laser originated.

Deputies said they went to that address and found Michael Vancura, 37, on the front porch of his home. Vancura went inside as deputies were approaching but opened the door when deputies knocked, according to the report.

Vancura admitted to shining the laser at the helicopter then hiding it in a bedroom in the residence as deputies arrived, the affidavit said. He said he did not know it was illegal to point a laser at a helicopter, according to the report.

Vancura was charged with pointing a laser light at a driver/pilot.

Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood referred to the suspect as a "moronic (expletive)." 

"Those men up in that air unit are putting their lives on the line. It's tough enough to fly a helicopter, let alone, have some moron on the ground thinking it's OK to shine a laser light in their eyes," Chitwood said.

The defendant stated he was unaware it was unlawful to point a laser light at a helicopter. (It is.) #TheMoreYouKnow pic.twitter.com/xqPIhZauhz

— Volusia Co. Sheriff (@VolusiaSheriff) April 6, 2018


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