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Tulsa man charged with targeting police with a laser

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Reported by: Morgan Downing
Updated: 2/19 10:37 pm Published: 2/19 10:35 pm

TULSA, Okla. - A Tulsa man is charged with a federal crime after police say he targeted them with a laser.

Tulsa police said Carl Don Floyd, 42, pointed a laser into their helicopter while they were patrolling on Saturday. Floyd is facing up to five years in prison for doing it.

"It is an extremely serious event and people should never do that," said Tulsa police Officer David Shelby.

Shelby knows first-hand after it happened to him while he was patrolling the city in the Tulsa police helicopter on Saturday.

"The third strike hit me directly in the eyes as it came through the wind screen, the windshield of the aircraft," said Shelby.

Police arrested Floyd for the crime but they said he's not the only offender.

"We've seen a large increase in this happening," said Sgt. Nick Cory.

According to the FBI, just last year there were nearly 4,000 of these incidents reported across the country.

FOX23 went to Dong's Guns, Ammo and Reloading to find out why people buy these lasers.

"It's great for self-defense," said David Stone.

Many people attach them to their guns for a target and Stone said he even has one at home that he shines when playing with his cat.

Tulsa police say even the low-grade lasers can cause temporary and even permanent blindness.

"Some people might think it's just a laser, a toy, but it's a lot more serious than that," said Cory.

"When they're in looking at them we always remind them it's for shooting only, not for shining around," said Stone.

FOX23 learned locating people who shine lasers at aircrafts is difficult, but the FBI said it's so serious they'll offer up to a $10,000 reward in some cases, if you help them catch the person responsible.

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

Mayor Maynot - 2/20/2014 1:53 PM
0 Votes
Unwashed Mass #: -|| THAT is a good point in question. I'll have to commend and vote for you on the point laser at car. However in the article I think it only stated that vision impairment was only temporary. The lasers at the checkout are a different grade of laser than the ones you find applied to a weapon mount. How much power can you get from three watch batteries??? I'll have to look into that with my BS BUSTER......

Unwashed Mass - 2/20/2014 11:13 AM
1 Vote
Maybe it's a felony for police to point a laser at my car?

Unwashed Mass - 2/20/2014 10:51 AM
1 Vote
So the laser at the self-checkout at the store could permanently blind me? Maybe if I planted my face in one for a while, but otherwise... Reporters dont do their homework when they have a police handout.

Unwashed Mass - 2/20/2014 10:44 AM
1 Vote
Almost everyone these days has been in a bar or club with lasers, and it's nearly impossible to not catch one in the eye for a fraction of a second. You dont hear of them being rushed to the hospital, or being struck blind, do you? Even the gun shop guy points it at his pets.

Unwashed Mass - 2/20/2014 10:39 AM
1 Vote
There has never been an instance where a pilot has been permanently blinded by a laser pointer, nor seriously injured. Nor has any aircraft been put in danger of being brought down. Police tend to exaggerate when they want to look like the victims.

Mayor Maynot - 2/20/2014 3:33 AM
0 Votes
It's great for self defense??? Most gun battles occur within five to ten yards range. I don't need to sight at that range all I need to do is point and squeeze. After the first one gets you then you are all mine. I can sight on you from 1'000 meters using an M16 and put er right between the eyes. I don't need no laser. Fortunately since military days I've laid weapons down. I prefer to shoot a 35mm SLR !!! It pays much better.

Mayor Maynot - 2/20/2014 1:24 AM
0 Votes
. Floyd you got t he big boys after you. Huh.
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