BEXAR COUNTY, Tex. (KTSA News) — A Schertz man was sentenced Monday to more than four years in federal prison for pointing a laser at a San Antonio police helicopter.
Federal prosecutors say 39-year-old Justin Shorey admitted in November 2019 to knowingly pointing a laser at a San Antonio police helicopter just north of U.S. Highway 90 as it was assisting in the search of a shooting suspect in February 2019.
The laser hit the pilot in his eyes, affecting his ability to see and read his gauges.
Shorey admitted to aiming the laser at the helicopter again as it closed in on his location in the 2100 block of Hays Street.
The pilot was able to land safely at San Antonio International Airport, but his injuries kept him from being able to fly for a week.
“Pointing lasers at law enforcement is extremely dangerous and can cause serious injury. This is particularly true when the pilots of an aircraft are involved,” stated U.S. Attorney Gregg Sofer. “Today’s 51-month prison sentence demonstrates the seriousness of this offense. We will aggressively prosecute anyone who purposely points a laser at an aircraft, endangering both people in the air and those in our communities on the ground.”
“Actions such as lasering law enforcement helicopters are dangerous for the pilots assisting officers on the ground. I was glad to hear that the Department of Justice does not tolerate this behavior and held Mr. Shorey
accountable for his actions,” stated San Antonio Police Chief McManus.
In addition to his 51-month federal prison sentence, Shorey will be placed on supervised release for three years once he finishes his time in prison.