A group of teenagers learned a rough lesson about pointing toy guns at police officers.
The night-vision video below was taken by York Regional Police’s Air Support in Vaughan, Ontario, just north of Toronto.
Around 1:00AM, a helicopter assisting officers on the ground searching for a suspect was flashed by a laser by a group of teens unrelated to the fleeing criminal.
The tactical flight officer used a night-vision camera to spot the teenagers standing near a car pointing what was later found to be an airsoft gun with laser sights. An emergency response unit and a canine unit were dispatched to arrest the teenagers.
Nicholas Caranci, a 19-year-old reservist with the Canadian Armed Forces, was arrested shortly after attempting to flee from police. A spokesperson from the military told the CBC that Caranci is a private with the 32 Service Battalion but is not an “active member” of the armed forces.
“For a pilot in control of an aircraft flying over populated areas, the consequences can be serious,” say York police. “Those who aim these pointers at aircraft are putting lives in danger, not only in the aircraft but on the ground. There is a serious potential for harm to the pilot and the prospect of a crash.”
According to Canada’s CBC News, Caranci is charged with “mischief endangering life. He is also facing a charge of unlawfully engaging in behaviour that endangers an aircraft under the Aeronautics Act and projecting a bright light source into navigable airspace under the Canadian Aviation Regulation.”
The United States has a similar regulation against pointing lasers at any aircraft. Title 18 U.S.C., Part I, Ch. 2, section 39A states “Whoever knowingly aims the beam of a laser pointer at an aircraft in the special aircraft jurisdiction of the United States, or at the flight path of such an aircraft, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.”