Man accused of using laser to blind Florida pilot searching for missing boaters

Ryan Paul Lucas arrested at vacation rental property near Orlando

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Ryan Paul Lucas.

SHINGLE CREEK, Fla. - A 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of pointing a laser at an Osceola County helicopter pilot who was searching for some lost boaters.

Ryan Paul Lucas, of Asheboro, N.C., was arrested in the incident , which occurred around 11 p.m. between Poinciana Boulevard and Bass Road in the Shingle Creek area.

According to the Osceola County Sheriff's Office, deputies and the aviation unit were searching for individuals in a rowboat who were reported missing.  During the search, the pilot and another person were "blinded by a green laser light three times," the Sheriff's Office said.

The pilot was able to determine where the light was coming from and deputies went to the residence, a vacation rental property, deputies said.

Several people, including Lucas, were spotted and Lucas went inside, deputies said.

During questioning, Lucas turned over the laser and said he "messed up and should not have shined the light at the helicopter," according to the Sheriff's Office.

Lucas was arrested on charges of pointing a laser device at a driver/pilot and was booked into the Osceola County Jail.

Deputies said the missing boaters were found safe.

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