Boise Police Department
News Release

Michael F. Masterson
Chief of Police


Contact: Lynn Hightower
Communications Director
570-6180

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, June 04, 2007

Airport Laser Incident; BPD case turned over to the FBI

Airport Laser Incident; BPD case turned over to the FBI

    Boise, June 4, 2007 - Boise Police have turned over to the FBI information on a potentially dangerous incident that occurred in the skies over Boise late Saturday night. The information includes two possible suspects, both Boise teenagers. The FBI advises Boise PD they have opened an investigation into the incident.

    What Happened: At approx. 11:30 p.m. Boise Police were dispatched to a neighborhood near Five Mile and Overland where two pilots had reported seeing a bright green laser pointer aimed into the sky at passing aircraft.

    One pilot of a commercial airliner coming in for a landing was able to give the Boise Airport Tower detailed information as to the location of the laser. Other aircraft in the area were advised, and a short time later, an Air St. Luke's helicopter was also targeted with the laser.

    The Air St. Luke's helicopter pilot was able to pinpoint the location where the laser was coming from. At the direction of the Boise Airport Tower, the helicopter hovered over the house on the 9700 blk of Countryman and the pilot used a spotlight to identify the exact location for responding officers.

    After some investigation, officers were able to find and seize the laser pen-type pointer, and locate at least two people involved, both 17 years old. The teens were located at two separate homes in the area. The two teens have not been charged as the case has been turned over to the FBI for follow up.

    Federal Violation: Pointing a laser at an aircraft is a federal offense. Information from the Boise Police investigation has been turned over to the FBI for further investigation.

    The Danger: According to reports from the Federal Aviation Administration, pilots have reported visual impairment after being the target of a laser light beam. The commercial aircraft involved Saturday night landed without incident at the Boise Airport.

    How Many Incidents: According to Boise Airport Officials, reported incidents of aircraft being targeted by lasers have occurred in the Treasure Valley but have not been frequent until this year.

    Boise Airport officials report this is the third incident this year where pilots over Ada and Canyon County have reported being the target of a laser beam.