Florida Man Arrested After Aiming Laser at Police Helicopter Amid State of Emergency

Police in Sarasota County, Florida, said they arrested a man who aimed a laser at a helicopter that was working on hurricane recovery on Tuesday night, October 4.

According to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, 44-year-old Nick Davidson of Nokomis was arrested on a felony charge after he shined a laser at Air-1, a helicopter that was assisting on a nearby fire. The area had been affected by Hurricane Ian the previous week and was under a declared state of emergency, officials said.

The sheriff’s office wrote on Facebook, “As many of you know, our helicopter pilots are currently assisting with damage assessments, guiding ground units in areas where street signs have been destroyed and providing aerial support to other law and fire agencies while we all navigate the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. Not only are Davidson’s actions dangerous, but they have the potential to flash blind and cause long-term damage to the visual capabilities of our pilots.” Credit: Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office via Storyful

Video transcript

- Continue at 27.

- That one?

- Air-1 dispatch, can you take us off this call for a minute? We got somebody lasing us with a green laser. I'll give you an address here in a minute.

- 10-4.

- 201 Spoleto Circle.

- Can you 10-9 the street name?

- Sam, Paul, Ocean, Lincoln, Edward, Tom, Ocean Circle.

- 5338, 2051, 1020.

- Air-1 of the unit. We identified the subject hiding behind a tree in the backyard. We were 97 above him. And he was still aggressive with the laser towards the aircraft, making it difficult for us to navigate.

- 26, I'm about 10 out.

- All right. 10-4. Once you get 97, I'll direct you nearer the lake in rear of that location. Yeah. He's still doing it actively.

- 5362, 5194.

- Male subject just going into the lanai area of-- it looks like it'd be 212 Palmaria Court.