Man from Missouri accused of pointing laser at police helicopter

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A man from Lake St. Louis, Missouri has been indicted and accused of pointing a laser at a Metro Air Support helicopter in the St. Louis area.

David Gammil, 44, was indicted in U.S. District Court in St. Louis on March 8 on one count of aiming a laser at an aircraft. Gammil’s indictment says the incident occurred on February 23.

Gammil was arrested Wednesday and made his first appearance in court, where he pleaded not guilty.  

The charge carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. For years, the FBI and aviation authorities have warned that lasers can blind pilots, and incidents are on the rise. The Federal Aviation Administration reported 9,457 incidents in 2022, including dozens that resulted in reported injuries.

The case was investigated by the St. Charles County Police Department and the FBI.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Colleen Lang is prosecuting the case.   

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