Florida man accused of pointing red laser at helicopter

Deputies: Brian Harting said he didn't know it was against law


CLEARWATER, Fla. –  A Florida man has been charged with pointing a laser at a law enforcement helicopter.

The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office helicopter was monitoring a fire in Clearwater early Sunday when its crew spotted the laser coming from a nearby yard.

A Sheriff's Office statement said Brian Harting, 48, shined a red laser at the helicopter three times from his backyard.

According to the statement, Harting told deputies that he did not know it was illegal to aim a laser at the aircraft.

Harting was charged with felony misuse of a laser lighting device and held at the county jail. Bond was set at $25,000.

Jail records did not show whether Harting had an attorney. He had been released from the jail Feb. 10 after posting bond on a heroin possession charge.