Lincoln man arrested after pointing laser at Nebraska State Patrol helicopter
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Troopers arrested a man after he pointed a laser at a Nebraska State Patrol helicopter Friday night.
The patrol says pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal offense since it constitutes an in-flight emergency.
Around 10 p.m., the patrol’s pilots left the Lincoln Airport to help the Lincoln Police Department with an operation, according to a press release.
Shortly after takeoff, the pilots reported a “laser strike” on their helicopter, the patrol says.
While searching for the origin of the laser, the pilots reported additional “laser strikes.”
Eventually, troopers were able to locate 42-year-old Lee Cimfel, who was pointing a laser at the helicopter from a trail near Salt Creek.
Lincoln Police officers were then sent to Cimfel’s location and he was taken into custody, the patrol says.
Cimfel was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault after consultation with the Lancaster County Attorney’s Office.
The laser strike was reported to the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the patrol.