Man arrested, accused of pointing laser at KSAT's helicopter

Laser illuminates SKY 12 cockpit 1,500 feet in the air

By Deven Clarke - Crime and Justice Reporter, Adam B. Higgins - Photojournalist

SAN ANTONIO - KSAT 12's helicopter pilot, William "Dusty" Brittain, is used to helping KSAT cover the news.

On Monday night, Brittain was the news.

Brittain was flying some 1500 feet in the air over downtown San Antonio, getting beauty shots of the city and preparing for the newscast, when an intense green light filled the cockpit.

"(It was) very distracting, very disorienting, initially. Luckily, I was hit on the side of the aircraft instead of straight on. In the past, I've been hit straight on, and it can be very debilitating, can damage your eyes," he said.

More local news on KSAT.com:

Taxpayers paid for training conference that Barrientes Vela skipped, again

Surveying crew finds skeletal human remains near UTSA

Texas A&M bans e-cigarettes, vaping throughout 'every inch' of university system

Brittain used his crime-tracking skills to find the source of the light. He said someone was shining a laser light at him more than two miles away.

"We made the circle of downtown, went along the side of where (Interstate) 35 and I-10 come to play, there at the Santa Rosa Children's Hospital, and got hit again," Brittain said.

Brittain says he noticed the light was coming from a VIA bus terminal on Frio Street. The photographer who was with Brittain was able to capture someone playing with a green laser. 

Brittain radioed the incident in, and the person was arrested.

"They've implemented laws to take care of these issues," he said.
           
Anyone who witnesses someone pointing a laser at an aircraft should report it to the Federal Aviation Administration at faa.gov.

The person who was arrested will likely face federal charges.

Copyright 2019 by KSAT - All rights reserved.