Florida man arrested after shining laser at Volusia County Sheriff’s helicopter

Shining a laser at pilot in flight is a felony

EDGEWATER, Fla. – An Edgewater man accused of pointing a laser at the Volusia Sheriff’s Office Air One helicopter is now facing a felony charge.

Edgewater police arrested 29-year-old Ryan Hutton Tuesday around 7:30 a.m. at the rear dock at Boston Whaler.

The pilot flying Air One said he was on a burglary call when a laser beam hit the right side of the helicopter, illuminating the cockpit and hitting the pilot in the right eye. The pilot told investigators this blinded him for around three to five minutes, describing the incident like having a flashbulb going off in front of his eye, according to a Volusia County Sheriff’s Office report.

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After being temporarily blinded, the pilot called in nearby law enforcement warning of the incident getting assistance from Edgewater police.

The pilot was able to guide officers to Hutton’s location on the water and officers flagged down the boat on the Intracoastal Waterway.

[ARREST VIDEO: Edgewater man temporarily blinds Volusia County pilot with laser, deputies say]

Once the vessel was docked, officers got three men out of the boat.

In the arrest video, Hutton told them he had a green laser pointer and is heard telling authorities he thought the helicopter was a drone.

“I did it, I honestly thought it was a drone,” Hutton said as the officers detained the three men.

Hutton was taken to the Volusia County Branch Jail, where he posted a $5,000 bond. He’s facing a felony charge of pointing a laser at a driver or pilot.

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