Not Cool: Teens Injure Two Helicopter Pilots With Laser Pen

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Two Naples, Fla. teens are facing felony charges after injuring two police helicopter pilots with a laser pen on January 1, reports the Miami Herald.

According to the authorities, Hidlago Moreno, 19, and his 17-year-old friend were playing with a laser pointer at about 2 a.m. on New Year's Day, shining it into the sky. Two pilots from the Collier County Sheriff's Office spotted the light while patrolling in their tactical helicopter 500 feet in the air.
The pilots were forced to return to their hangar, and each sought treatment at a local hospital for ruptured blood vessels in their left eyes. The police were able to track the lasers back to Hidalgo's home, and both teens were charged with pointing a laser at an aircraft operator, causing injury.

According to an article published by Princeton University, laser pointers can be hazardous to the eyes, but are not likely to cause permanent retinal damage. Typically, laser beam exposure causes afterimage, flashblindness and/or glare, which can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days.

However, any kind of vision impairment can be dangerous for pilots. What do you think about the incident in Naples? Do you think their charges are appropriate or too severe? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. %Poll-58204%

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