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Man Faces Felony Charge After Pointing Laser at Sheriff’s Office Helicopter

WEEKI WACHEE – Pointing a laser at a Hernando County Sheriff’s Office Helicopter landed one man behind bars Saturday and he could face up to 5-years in prison, and a $5,000 fine.

According to sources, the HCSO Air Unit responded to help search for a missing 9-year-old boy, in the area of Cortez Blvd and Darts Street. After the child was located, the pilot reported that someone was pointing a laser at him from a nearby residence. The pilot was able to pinpoint the exact location of the source and directed deputies to the residence. Within a few minutes of the incident, deputies located and arrested 35-year-old Eric Dale Harper of 8029 Darts Street.

Harper is charged with a third-degree felony, under a Florida Statute that prohibits pointing lasers at pilots. Harper was booked into the Hernando County Jail and remains behind bars on a $5,000 bond.

Harper is no stranger to law enforcement. In 2015, Harper was found guilty of poaching, after he was found in possession of a deer carcass and antlers out of season. Harper has also faced charges of burglary, drug possession, battery, and DUI.

If a person is convicted on Federal charges, they could face up to a $250,000 fine and 5-years in prison.

A similar incident occurred in 2010, when then, 23-year-old Louis Amalfitano pointed a laser at an HCSO Air Unit. Amalfitano later pled guilty to the charged and completed a pre-trial intervention program.

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  • What a JERK

    Tuesday, 28 November 2017, 4:09 pm
  • Dumbass caught in minutes, lol, could have blinded the pilot, but the pilot had his ticket didn’t he, good job HCSO

    Monday, 27 November 2017, 10:48 am
  • Same people , same stupid comments ………..

    Monday, 27 November 2017, 3:15 am
  • How do you get caught pointing a laser? You really have to be an idiot to get caught doing that

    Monday, 27 November 2017, 1:35 am
  • Y’all shouldn’t judge someone you don’t know. And its best to say nothing at all if you can’t say something nice its bad manners. God bless you.

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 10:12 pm
    • Well maybe this guy should have used his MANNERS and NOT pointed a laser at a Sheriff’s helicopter!!!

      Monday, 27 November 2017, 8:17 am
    • What’s to know? Only an idiot would point a laser at police. Don’t you realize it could be a threat by a gun? Lasers shouldn’t even be used as a playful object with animals since it can cause permanent eye damage!

      Tuesday, 28 November 2017, 9:43 am
  • I like to try to look on the good side of things.
    For example, it gives all the people so far posting on this episode the opportunity to believe there is someone out there they are as good as, and maybe even allow them to believe they are better than when an opportunity such as this likely doesn’t happen for them often.

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 9:59 pm
  • laser lives matter

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 9:15 pm
  • This guy probably still lives with mom. If so, I’m sure the mom is defending her son’s actions. How come people need to be so stupid?

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 5:55 pm
  • You can’t fix stupid!!!

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 5:14 pm
    • Yep! Just ask the Sheriff’s Dept. They try, but they seem to have the same problem…smdh.

      Monday, 27 November 2017, 3:50 am
  • He has wicked eyes, like Jack Nicholson in The Shining!

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 3:21 pm
    • Nah that’s just his low IQ you’re seeing.

      Monday, 27 November 2017, 12:36 pm
  • Has quite a record. He had other charges filed against him,I figure he must have had a good attorney.time now to lock him up so he learns a lesson.he needs much more than a pass.Next time he will kill somebody

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 3:11 pm
  • That’s enough, shoot this idiot and than hangem. Problem solved

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 2:45 pm
    • It should be that way one less useless idiot out there we have to pay for

      Sunday, 26 November 2017, 4:40 pm

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 2:17 pm
  • Just another idiot for the area keep him

    Sunday, 26 November 2017, 2:16 pm

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